The 18th Annual ASSIST FM Conference took place in the Hilton Glasgow on the 23rd and 24th August 2018 and it was the biggest conference yet with more delegates and suppliers attending than ever before.
We kicked off our delegate seminars on Thursday morning with an opening address from ASSIST FM’s chair, Keith Breasley, welcoming delegates from all over Scotland to the conference. Our Keynote speaker Cleland Sneddon, CEO of Argyll & Bute Council who presented his vision for Argyll & Bute, how young people are at the heart of the council’s outcomes and what Argyll & Bute are doing to support young people to become agents for change. He also touched on national strategies, the role of Facilities Management and challenges for Facilities Management going forward.
Cleland was followed by Maire McCormack, the Head of Strategy for the Commission for Children and Young People in Scotland who spoke about the rights of Scotland’s children and young people.
Next up was the Better Eating Better Learning Innovation Award presentation where St. Ninian’s Early Years Centre from Prestwick, St. Joseph’s Primary from Clarkston and Holyrood Secondary School from Glasgow presented the winning initiatives they have undertaken to improve the health of their pupils.
After the award ceremony, Brian Whittle, Conservative MSP took to the stage to discuss his thoughts on local food procurement, the impact of nutrition on attainment, nutritional education, and how this impacts on health inequalities.
The last speaker of the day was Stuart Fenwick from Tree of Knowledge. With a lot of experience in sport and physical activity, Stuart encourages an internal competition to inspire people to constantly better their self. Expert in all things fun. Stuart believes that energy and enthusiasm are natural human habits that we need to re-engage with. It is of great personal reward to Stuart that he gets to try and encourage this each and every day and he challenged our delegates to do just that.
The supplier exhibition on Thursday afternoon was our busiest ever, with 59 organisations presenting their innovative product ranges to the key decision-makers in facilities management.
Neil Durrant of Diversey said that “Personally this was one of the best exhibitions I have attended, from start to finish” and that “As a supplier I would say [the best things about the conference were] the large number of delegates attending. This provided us with the opportunity to interact with so many people in one place.”
Carianne De Koning of Argyll & Bute Council said that “the variety of suppliers was fantastic, and the stamp card was a great incentive to speak to most of them”. She also said that the main benefit of the conference to her was the ability “to connect with suppliers and also be inspired by new things and ideas”.
We finished off the day with our Awards Dinner on Thursday night, where Keith Breasley and sponsors from Muller Milk & Ingredients, Live Kitchen and McCain Foods presented the ASSIST FM awards to some very worthy winners.
Our Friday morning seminar was opened by Laura Wilson, a Health and Nutrition Inspector from Education Scotland who shared findings of inspections over the last year. Laura also updated delegates on the development of a Self-Evaluation Framework for Food in Schools in Scotland and gave an overview of the recommendations and next steps for changes to the nutritional regulations for school food and drinks.
After Laura Wilson, Rhys McCole, a Year of Young People 2018 ambassador and para-disabled boxer spoke to our delegates about his life and the importance of heathy eating and exercise. His speech was both entertaining and extremely humorous, as well as being very inspirational.
Next up, our Inch by Inch For Scotland Chef and Presenter, Jordan Docherty, took to the stage to give an update on his work with Inch By Inch For Scotland over the past year and the impact it has had on his own life. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! Jordan also received the Conference’s first standing ovation from all the delegates present.
Jordan was followed by Alan Mawson from Dumfries & Galloway Council and Alan Cunningham of Totalize Media presenting their research project on how the Scottish School Meals service has changed over the last 15 years as well as the direction the service could take in the future.
The last speaker of the day, and of the conference was Annie Lindsay of Tickety Boo Training, who motivated our audience to think positively and ‘delete’ negative thoughts.
The ASSIST FM Conference 2018 was a great success and the feedback from our delegates, guests and suppliers echoed this. If you are interested in attending any future ASSIST FM Conferences, don’t hesitate to get in touch by contacting us here.