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Catering students deliver Diamond Anniversary event

Catering students from West Herts College recently helped to deliver the Diamond Anniversary event for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The event, in celebration of the DofE Charity’s 50th anniversary, was titled the Diamonds are Forever Gala and was held at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire. It tied in with James Bond and was themed by the Bond production team.

Hosted by David Walliams and attended by Prince Phillip, Prince Andrew, Princess Sophie and celebrities including Roger Moore and Dame Judi Dench, the charity fundraiser gala’s aim was to raise £1,000,000 to help the charity realise its UK 2020 Diamond Ambition. The charity aims to transform the lives of two million young people and works specifically to ensure 400,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are given the opportunity to participate in the DofE award.

Two students helped as chefs, twelve as floor waiters and Graham Kates, Food Academy lecturer, worked as the floor manager. The event was catered for by Payne and Gunter.

Lucy Craggs, one of the students in attendance, said: “It was great to get experience of a high-class event and was a brilliant insight into the industry. It will also look great on our CVs.”

The event was a success, with an auction by Christie’s international auctioneer Hugh Edmeades, a raffle with a top prize of £25,000 worth of diamond jewellery and a display of some of the cars and costumes featured in the James Bond films.

Graham Kates said of the event: “An event of that size and scale can’t be replicated in a classroom, so it was a great opportunity for the students. Payne and Gunter took time out to show the students around the event, so they got more out of the experience than just carrying plates – they got to see how a large-scale industry event really operates.”

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