Hearty success

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SCHOOLS, hospitals and businesses are celebrating after being honoured for helping people eat their way to heart health.

More than 180 places to eat have been handed awards by Sunderland City Council to applaud their efforts to promote healthier lifestyles and cut health risks.

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Norma Wright presented certificates to some of the 138 restaurants, cafes, canteens and schools named in the inaugural Heart of Sunderland awards.

The new awards, which replace the 20-year-old Healthy Heartbeat Awards, were launched by the council under a new Government scheme which sees local authorities given more funding and responsibility to help people live healthier lives.

Judges carried out regular inspections before deciding on gold, silver and bronze award winners.

Those clinching the gold standard included Sunderland Royal Hospital and Eye Infirmary, NPower’s base in Rainton Bridge Business Park and colleges run by Education and Services for People with Autism.

Sunderland University’s City Space and St Peter’s centres scooped silver awards, with bronze awards going to Cafe Refresh in Marks and Spencer and the Royal Mail’s Wearfield base.

A host of schools across the city also picked up gold and silver awards.

Jeremy Wood, regional managing director for BaxterStorey, which dishes up food to NPower staff, said: “We are extremely proud to receive this recognition for our drive to continuously improve the service we offer to our customers.”

Annie Smith, catering manager at Cafe Refresh in Pentland Distribution Centre, Washington, was delighted to receive a silver award.

She said: “We work hard to maintain the highest standards of food hygiene and provide healthier, balanced meals to our customers.”

Twitter: @janethejourno