Oakham has bid a fond farewell to two long serving members of staff – who have worked together in the School’s catering department for over 35 years! Liz Mapletoft and Debbie Blake both retired during September having managed and served what must account to hundreds of thousands of meals over their collective 70-year tenure.
“Due to Coronavirus restrictions, we haven’t been able to properly celebrate or publicly thank Liz and Debbie for all of their years of hard work and dedication to the School,” says Sarah Gomm, Oakham’s Deputy Head Pastoral. “The catering team are a central cog in feeding the minds, bodies and souls of Oakhamians. Each and every day they plan, make and serve circa 2,500 meals. Liz and Debbie have been at the centre of this organisational feat for decades and we all thank them for keeping us all nourished and ensuring that the Barraclough is a homely hub in the centre of the School.”
Instead, their work colleagues in the Catering Team were able to give the pair a small, socially distanced send off. They celebrated over tea and cake, and gathered to give them a range of gifts from the team.
Liz and Debbie’s relationship didn’t just start when they both began working at Oakham School – they first met at English Martyrs Primary School, aged 5, then went on to Catmose College together. Liz joined the Catering team at Oakham School 36 years ago, then Debbie joined one year later when the School’s then new Barraclough central dining facility was opened. They’ve worked together side by side for all these years, and are both looking forward to seeing each other, not to work, but to enjoy their retirement.
Oakham’s Catering team continues to be headed up by two long-standing members of staff, Vicky Adams and Angela Munton who have worked alongside Liz and Debbie for 20 years and 8 years respectively.