Every year CEDA nominates a charity to support at its annual Conference, usually a cause in some way connected to the catering industry.
This year’s chosen charitable cause is Jeff’s Way.
Set up in honour of Jeff Whitaker, the late CEO of CEDA member Whitco, the cause celebrates Jeff’s passion for life and is intended to build a lasting legacy in his name. Jeff’s Way aims to help young people build a future for themselves and benefit from education, opportunity and security; three issues close to Jeff’s heart.
This year, all monies raised at the Conference will be donated to Jeff’s Way and divided equally between the development of young catering talent at Hull College (Education), the Sea Cadets (Opportunity) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (Security).
Vita Whitaker, Jeff’s wife, Whitco commercial director and Jeff’s Way founder explains the motivation behind the charity: “Jeff was never happier than when he was cooking, on a boat or by the sea. He joined The Sea Cadets, which instilled discipline and high standards.
“The catering faculty at Hull College gave him the skills he needed to join the catering teams of the merchant navy and Royal National Lifeboat Institution, where Jeff saw and experienced first-hand the work they do to save lives at sea.
“These institutions shaped Jeff’s outlook and attitude to life and it seems only fitting to allow others the opportunity to benefit from them in his name.”
Mark Kendall, CEDA chair, whose choice it is to nominate a charity to support at the Conference each year added: “Selecting Jeff’s Way as the 2018 CEDA Conference charitable cause was an obvious choice for me.
“Jeff was such a highly regarded member of the catering industry. He was a true gentleman who had time for everyone he met and he will be sorely missed by the entire CEDA family and his peers in the wider catering sector.
“We look forward to welcoming Vita and colleagues from Whitco to the Conference and that will afford us the opportunity to show our collective industry support for the family and the company. I’m confident that we can deliver a fitting tribute to an industry legend.”
This year’s ceda Conference will take place at The Hilton, St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 April, and fundraising activity will take place on both evenings.