Vegetarian for Life

Vegetarian for Life has announced the winners of its 2021 Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian and Vegan Care Catering.

Now in their sixth year, the awards are a celebration of those going the extra mile for their vegetarian and vegan residents.

The winners were:

Veggie Care Chef of The YearChampa Mistry, of Avery Healthcare's Birchwood Grange Care Home in Harrow. Announced by television and radio presenter, property expert, and writer, Jasmine Harman.

Most Innovative Veggie DishTom Waters, of Barchester Healthcare's Ashfields Care Home. Announced by actress Roxy Shahidi, best known for playing Leyla Harding in ITV soap Emmerdale.

Veggie Wholesaler Of The YearAnglia Crown was announced by Scottish actor Paul Higgins.

Photo credit: Jim Creighton

Paul has been vegan for over 10 years. He enjoys running, yoga and singing too. His recent theatre work includes The Doctor (Almeida), Aristocrats and Temple (Donmar), Children of the Sun and White Guard (National), and Blackbird (Citizens). Film includes Victoria and Abdul, Apostle, and Couple in a Hole. TV includes Line of Duty, Cold Call, Utopia, The Thick of It and the forthcoming Ipcress File (ITV/Britbox) and Slow Horses (Apple TV). 

The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition AwardBirchwood Grange culinary team. Announced by comedian, actor, writer and film producer Dave Spikey – perhaps best known for his stand-up comedy, and starring in the British comedy programme Phoenix Nights.



This year’s event was broadcast via Facebook and YouTube on Wednesday 26 January 2022, and was hosted by popular MC, comedian and radio presenter, Matt Adlington.

“The awards have become a much-anticipated event, with the ceremony taking place in the House of Parliament in recent years,” says Amanda Woodvine, CEO of Vegetarian for Life.

“COVID-19 restrictions have made a physical event impossible, so this year’s ceremony was again held virtually. We’re delighted that Matt Adlington returned to present the awards, along with some fantastic celebrity friends.”

First launched in 2016, the Annual Awards highlight the importance of catering well for older vegetarians and vegans. We recently surveyed 1,000 care homes to find out how many residents are vegan or vegetarian. Since the survey was last commissioned in 2014, the number of vegans in residential care has increased by a whopping 167%!

With growing numbers of vegetarians being supported by the care sector, it is no surprise that news of the awards has been positively received by care organisations. Articles about the awards have been published by the NACC, Public Sector Catering, Care Home Catering, Hospitality Assured and many more.

It’s becoming impossible to ignore the demand for top-notch veggie care catering.

This year marked the sixth VfL Awards for Excellence in Veg*n Care Catering. With more vegans and vegetarians moving into residential care every year, this annual award recognises those who are pioneering the way in modern care catering.

The categories for this year’s awards were:

  • Veggie Care Chef of the Year. We wanted to find the care chef who is making the tastiest meals for older vegans or veggies.
  • Veggie Wholesaler of the Year. Meals on Wheels? Food delivery service? Retailer supplying the care sector? Let’s celebrate that company that makes veggie meals easy and practical for everyone.
  • Most Innovative Veggie Dish. We wanted someone to send us one magnificent recipe – something that is original, and that we can recommend to care caterers around the UK.
  • The Beulah Charity Trust Special Recognition Award. This is for that special someone who strives to make the UK a better place for older vegans and vegetarians. This could be a volunteer, a resident, a staff member or anyone pursuing this objective.

Visit our Veggie Heroes Past Winners page to see who has been honoured since the awards were first launched.

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