UKHospitality Chief Kate Nicholls made an OBE in New Year Honours

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nichols has been made an OBE for her services to the hospitality sector, in particular during the current pandemic which is brought turmoil to the entire industry.

Ms Nicholls has led the trade body since it was formed in January 2018 from the merger of the British Hospitality Association and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, where she was chief.

She is also chairwoman of the Tourism Alliance, representing all bodies across the sector.

Ms Nicholls said: “While I am personally humbled and honoured to receive this recognition, I have to pay tribute to the entire UKH team for their tireless work and campaigning throughout this year, continually highlighting to Government the specific challenges our sector faces,” she said.

“Hospitality businesses were hit first and hit hardest by the pandemic but, despite this, there have been countless inspirational examples of leadership, resilience and collaboration, of people coming together to support their local communities during this unprecedented time, helping to feed frontline NHS and key workers, the homeless and support others in need.

“It is those values that make me proud to have represented and been part of such a wonderful sector for many years.

“Our focus now is to continue to press Government for additional financial support that will enable businesses to survive through the winter and be in a position to reopen and welcome back customers.

“I very much look forward to celebrating with family and friends at the first opportunity.”

Two key figures from Brakes, the leading foodservice company, have been recognised in the latest New Year’s Honours list for their roles in launching the Government’s programme to provide food boxes to the clinically vulnerable during lockdown.

Brakes’ Supply Chain and Operations Director, Alex Mayfield, and Lead Solution Designer, Ricky Sercombe, were awarded MBEs, recognising their pivotal roles in leading the Brakes team that created and launched a service to support the shielding clinically vulnerable with vital food boxes during the first nationwide lockdown.

Working with the Government, Brakes, in partnership with Bidfood, conceived and launched the service, delivering the first boxes direct to those who most needed them in only nine days.  We are very proud that Brakes colleagues have been recognised for the role they played as essential ‘key workers’, that alongside many other largely unseen organisations, ensured food and supplies got through to those in most need.

Alex Mayfield was instrumental in developing and leading Brakes’ approach to creating this unique service, coordinating supply, procurement, packing and distribution in record time.  Ricky Sercombe was integral in ensuring the initial data was collated into a meaningful and workable plan, overcoming issues with its accuracy, consistency and timeliness, working round the clock to ensure that deliveries could be made to the shielded vulnerable population.

Hugo Mahoney, CEO at Brakes, said: “The MBEs given to Alex and Ricky reflect the resilience, innovation and resourcefulness of our business in developing and launching a service to support the clinically vulnerable at a time when many of those most in need were unable to access food and essential supplies.

“The well-deserved honours are a fantastic recognition of the boundless energy and resourcefulness they displayed in leading their teams at a very challenging time.  I’m very proud of how they drew the business together to deliver such a valuable service so quickly, at a time when many supermarkets were displaying empty shelves and were not able to provide delivery slots.