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Kind-hearted Wrekin catering manager makes finals of BBC awards

Jacob Perry has been shortlisted in the key worker category at BBC Radio Shropshire’s Make a Difference Awards.
Jacob Perry headshot

A kind-hearted catering manager has made the finals of an awards scheme to celebrate community heroes in Shropshire.

Jacob Perry, The Wrekin Housing Group’s Regional Catering Manager, has been shortlisted in the key worker category at BBC Radio Shropshire’s Make a Difference Awards.

A chef for over 30 years, Jacob has been nominated in recognition of his work at the group’s ShireLiving housing schemes for the over-55s.

He has been praised for supporting tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic by helping them with their shopping and providing them with healthy, nutritious meals.

The awards form part of the Make A Difference programme set up at the start of the first national lockdown as a virtual notice board for those offering help or needing support.

They are aimed at showing appreciation for people who love to make life better for others.

“I am delighted that Jacob has been nominated for this award. His positive and caring attitude at a time of national crisis made a huge difference to the lives of our tenants.

“It meant they could still get food, shopping and other essentials, without the need to go out, ensuring they could protect themselves from the virus.

“Jacob’s hard work is reflected by how much he’s loved by our ShireLiving residents and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for him in the finals.”

Paula Reynolds, Head of Retirement Housing at The Wrekin Housing Group

Jacob’s passion for food started at his grandparents’ family-run hotel, where he worked in the kitchen and restaurant after school.

After training at the Birmingham College of Food, he worked as a commis chef at celebrity chef Brian Turner’s Knightsbridge restaurant.

Jacob’s time there was vital for his professional development and on his return to Birmingham he took up management training at The Swallow Hotel, where he was part of a team which won a prestigious Caty award in 1992.

He has since travelled extensively, gaining a wealth of knowledge on different cuisines and also worked as a development chef for a leading catering company.

Jacob joined The Wrekin Housing Group in 2009 and in recent years has overseen catering at the ShireLiving schemes, developing affordable, tasty and nutritious menus for their onsite cafés.

The winners of the Make A Difference Awards will be announced at a ceremony being held at The Anstice in Madeley on Friday 16 September.

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