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Buxton & Leek College hosts event to thank Whaley Bridge rescue teams

Hospitality & Catering students at Buxton & Leek College held a special event to thank the emergency services who supported residents in Whaley Bridge when they were evacuated from their homes in August.

In attendance were representatives from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, Derbyshire Constabulary, local Mountain Rescue Teams, local businesses in Whaley Bridge, schools and community groups.

Apprentices and students from the college delivered all aspects of the event, from planning and organising the event for guests – including devising a spectacular menu – preparing the food in the college’s on-site industry standard training kitchens and greeting and hosting guests during the event.

Business Development Manager at Buxton & Leek College, Tom Malpass, said: “We wanted to organise this even to thank the crews who worked so hard to keep people safe in the emergency situation in Whaley Bridge last year. Our students have done a fantastic job of organising and hosting this event, we couldn’t be prouder!”

Tom went on to say: “Hospitality and tourism is one of the major industries in and around the Peak District, and there are some fantastic opportunities available for apprentices to work with experienced chefs in award-winning restaurants and food venues. Some of our students have gone on to work at Michelin-starred restaurants or with celebrity chefs. It can be a really rewarding career for someone who’s passionate about food and customer service.”

Deputy Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, Rachel Swann – who oversaw the police response following the collapse of the dam wall at Toddbrook Reservoir – said: “The incident at Whaley Bridge was one of the most significant policing operations in Derbyshire for many years. The community spirit has been really powerful and uplifting.

“We don’t often have the opportunity to come to this type of event, so we’re really grateful. The event and food that we’ve had today has been lovely.”

The event was held as part of National Apprenticeship Week, a week to celebrate the impact that apprentices have in businesses around the country.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, Buxton & Leek College also hosted an Engineering Employer Breakfast, a Carpentry competition for students, awards, events for people interested in apprenticeships, employer awards and a Childcare & Education employer event.

Apprenticeships are for all ages, not just school leavers. To find out more about the current apprenticeship jobs available with Buxton & Leek College visit, call 0800 074 0099 or email

If you’re an employer looking to find out more about how an apprentice can benefit your business, contact Tom Malpass on 01298 330526 / 07717 348990 or email