MetMunch are delighted to announce that they have won the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). Awarded by AdvanceHE, this highly prestigious award for teaching in Higher Education recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning.
Introduced in 2016, the scheme highlights the key role that teamwork plays in higher education. Each award recognises a team which has enabled a change in practice for colleagues or students at an institutional or discipline level.
MetMUnch is a global award-winning, student-led social enterprise based at Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met). Starting in 2011, at its heart is a passion for sustainable and nutritious food – and sharing that passion with students, staff, local businesses and communities through collaborative projects.
The MetMUnch team runs a whole range of sessions, from on-the-spot nutritional advice, to leading on fun, interactive activities and science focussed workshops.
The MetMUnch team is diverse; made up of people from different cultures, generations and faculties from across the University. The team is multi-layered too, at its core it consists of two members of staff – Haleh Moravej and Dean Brookes from the Environment Team – and a wider cohort of around 540 passionate and engaging students over the years.
MetMunch helps these students develop skills, knowledge and experience to promote health and wellbeing, and then apply it in a range of sessions, workshops and public engagement events. Students in the team enrich their university experience with entrepreneurial and creativity skills, all with sustainability at heart.
For everyone involved, it’s an environment where ideas and innovation receive the support they need to flourish.
Although linked closely with nutrition, MetMUnch work collaboratively with other courses, departments and external agencies; including Sociology, School of Theatre, and the Science and Industry Museum.
This means that students have the opportunity to enhance their skills for employability through the medium of food. It also gives them a chance to learn about other subjects, and offers them the chance to educate others too.
This collaborative approach to learning, allowing students to take responsibility for the direction of MetMUnch develops skills such as leadership, collaboration, resilience, commitment, determination and perseverance.
To date, 370+ separate engagement activities have led to 80,000+ individual interactions with staff, students, communities and external organisations.
Haleh Moravej – MetMUnch Founder
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all my exceptional students of the last 10 years for being my best teachers. Thanks for all the creativity, passion and fun, I’ve lived my best life with no regrets as I wanted to create value and impact and we have done it together.”
“For the entire time I’ve spent creating and working with MetMUnch, the only disappointing question I was asked repeatedly was what would happen if I died and who would lead MetMUnch?”
“To answer the question, I have worked with some exceptional student leaders, they will continue with our mission, vision and purpose and will do a better job than I ever did. Of this I am certain.”
“We’ve never pretended that we didn’t have problems, or that working at MetMUnch was like spending every day in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory licking lollipops and having Oompa Loompas serve us everything we could ever want. We’ve all worked really hard and had some late nights.”
“It has been 24/7 commitment to something bigger than all of us put together. It took discipline, courage and a sense of fight to grow. We experimented like crazy, learnt, grew and continued executing all the creative ideas.”
“Thanks to all our wonderful colleagues, the Environment Team, the Technical Services staff, friends, external contacts, social entrepreneurs and specially Dr Chrissi Nerantzi for her exceptional creativity, love and support of the last 6 years.”
“I also want to thank the Harry Potter of MetMUnch Dean Brookes, who always managed to smile editing my massive documents, getting confused daily and hourly with my very abstract and creative ideas and always kept track of our MetMUnch’s many trollies. Dean is a credit to Manchester Met University as a double graduate, and to Manchester and UK as the cultural attaché of the country.”
“Thank you to Advance HE for recognising, rewarding and valuing 10 years of empowerment, courage, curiosity, hard work and true experiential learning and connected teaching where the world became our classroom.”
Dean Brookes – Marketing and Event Coordinator
“I am extremely proud to win the AdvanceHE CATE award with MetMUnch. Having worked with MetMUnch for nearly four years, it brings me great joy to see that the collaborative work we do to make a difference being recognised.”
“Haleh and I made it our mission to educate and empower students in a fun and creative way. We wanted give students the platform to take the lead, to allow their creativity and passion to shine.”
“What we achieved really has been a collaborative approach to education, it has been a fantastic environment for teaching and learning, and it has brought some amazing results. Everyone has always been welcome, new ideas encouraged, and we have constantly been pushing the traditional boundaries of higher education.”
“In turn our students have been inspirational, they have driven MetMUnch onto new heights, and it is a real privilege to be able to work alongside such amazing people.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that we have worked with. To all of our fantastic colleagues in the Environment Team, the ladies in the labs without whom our events would not have taken place, to Haleh for her relentless passion for education and creativity, she really does put her heart and soul into this and it shows, and of course to all of the students that I have had the pleasure of getting to know, it has been an amazing journey and I am very grateful to you all.”
“And finally, a big thank you to AdvanceHE for recognising the work we have done with this prestigious award, I am delighted that I can share it with our MetMUnch community.”
Nicole Fowler – MetMUncher since 2016
“I am so proud of MetMUnch for winning this prestigious award. I worked for MetMUnch for 3 years experiencing so many opportunities to network, educate, inspire and collaborate with the general public teaching them the wonders of nutrition and sustainability.”
“I can’t express enough how lucky I feel to have been part of this MetMUnch family. The skills, confidence and practical experience I have gained has shaped me as a woman and encouraged me to unlock potential.”
“MetMUnch has been a key part of my success in achieving my dream of becoming a registered dietitian. MetMUnch not only gives to its community, followers, and university, but it gives students a place from home to be a part of a family who accepts everyone just as they are, and allows them to develop themselves both as a MetMUncher and a person. “
“I will never forget being a MetMUncher, it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can’t thank Haleh and Dean enough for all their hard work and dedication to their students and our community. MetMUnch has really shown me that when creative people come together with passion and drive dreams really do come true.”
Edward Mihr – MetMUncher since 2010
“It is fantastic for MetMUnch to be recognised by CATE for the work that has been conducted over the last 10 years! Collaboration has been the watchword throughout that time.”
“We are led by Haleh and her wonderfully manic energy, but the many achievements along the way could not have been done without the work, ideas and passion of the many MetMUnchers over the years. It is what attracts undergrads, postgrads and university leavers from across faculties to us.”
“I may be a graduate and across the country, but am forever a MetMUncher and will be ready to work with Haleh, Dean and the latest cohort of students in brilliant food science, STEM and student-development projects.”
Salma Miyan – MetMUncher since 2015
“It is an absolute honour and pleasure to receive this CATE award alongside my outstanding trailblazing MetMUnch colleagues. As a 5 year old veteran member of MetMUnch, it has given me so many opportunities to develop and grow my skills as a nutritionist & researcher.”
“From writing for & presenting at conferences & public engagement events in the community; to launching the GROW vegan & vegetarian cafe on campus, providing nutritious, delicious food for students & staff!”
“MetMUnch is truly unique in the community it creates & the support it provides, & my university experience would have been so much less without it. Im forever grateful to Haleh & Dean for all of their hard work & for all of the opportunities they have given us; & this award is just the cherry on the top of an amazing journey!”
Jas Smith – MetMUncher since 2016
“I am beyond proud to call myself a MetMUncher, especially following our recent national success. I have worked with MetMUnch for 4 years now and loved every second.”
“From creative, wacky science events to Healthy-U sessions and even the Grow Cafe, I have gained so much experience and my confidence has soured!”
“An extra special thank you to both Haleh and Dean for their passion in founding such an inspirational and empowering business!”
Faizan Khokhar – MetMUncher since 2017
“Elated and overjoyed to see MetMunch recognised for all it has done over the years, not only for its students, but the wider community too. I feel very proud of the achievement, as it confirms all our hard work is starting to pay dividends. There is so much more to come, so watch this space.”
“It’s a pleasure and honour to be working with like-minded individuals towards one goal; engaging and educating the general public on sustainability, nutrition and health. Being a part of MetMunch community has allowed me to build meaningful connections with students from various backgrounds and has provided a platform to express myself.”
“In short, MetMunch is not a one-off fling but rather a lifelong marriage run by Haleh and Dean (Batman & Robin 😊), who together lead and inspire students with their passion, enthusiasm and creativity in a fun filled environment, allowing MetMunchers to grow personally and professionally, whilst enjoying delicious nutritious food along the way.”
Raheema Valera – MetMUncher since 2017
“I am over the moon at the achievment, that MetMUnch has been recognised for what it truely is; a student led inititive on sustainability and nutrition. To be a part of MetMUnch makes me so proud and honoured.”
“My time with MetMUnch has been the best part of my growth at university. Not only have I made friends that are like family, i have learnt so many new skills and strengthened existing skills; skills that i can apply to my future aspirations. The work MetMUnch has done on the wider community is invaluable and it clearly shows with the award.”
“I am excited to see all the new things Haleh (the soul of MetMUnch) and Dean (the backbone of MetMUnch) will bring to the table in the future, with the help of students (the developing bees).”
Helen Fielding – MetMUncher since 2017
“I am absolutely delighted that MetMUnch has won this award. Being a part of MetMUnch during my time at university has been the perfect blend of practical work experience, earning and spending time with friends who share the same passion as I do.”
“I have volunteered and worked with MetMUnch at events including out-reach, cookery masterclasses and pop-ups. I wish that I was a student for longer so I could contribute more and learn more from the wonderful Haleh! Her enthusiasm and drive demonstrate the core MetMUnch values. Haleh is the glue which brings us all together!”
Daxa Jobanputra – MetMUncher since 2016
“I am in complete awe to receive the CATE award with my MetMunch family, especially as my time at MMU was made very special and memorable because of the support and kindness I was shown by Haleh, Dean and so many other amazing MetMunchers.”
“My 4 years with MetMunch have seen me grow in confidence and knowledge and this was all achieved while having a fun filled time with members of the public from all ages and communities as the public engagement events are so varied and inclusive of everyone.
Haleh and Dean you are both tremendous individuals and I am so grateful and thankful to you both.”
Rachel Allen – MetMUncher since 2016
“My time in both MetMUnch and the GROW Café has been invaluable in developing me into the nutritionist I am today! I’ve felt supported and empowered to work both collaboratively and independently to share my passion for food through fun but informative public engagements at various events, workshops and within our very own GROW café.”
“Every event has been so diverse there’s never a dull moment, from teaching HealthyU nutrition and cooking sessions, to engaging with Manchester City Staff about the importance of good nutrition.”
“I can’t imagine my university experience without the amazing opportunities I have had the pleasure of taking part in through MetMUnch, I’ve loved every minute of it! I feel extremely honoured to have been a part of MetMUnch and proud of MetMUnch for achieving the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.”
“Ive always known MetMUnch is the best of the best but it’s amazing to have an award to show how great the MetMUnch community is and the impact we make!”
Aysha Mazhar – MetMUncher since 2014
“Collaboration is at the core of MetMUnch. During my time as a law student at Manchester Metropolitan University, I have had the privilege of working alongside superstars Haleh Moravej and Dean Brookes, which has been an absolute joy.”
“I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to say that I have been involved in community engagement events, taught summer school classes on healthy eating and wellbeing and throwing myself head first into massive science festivals and engaging the public.”
“All of these things listed here are manifestations of collaboration: with the students, across all of the faculty at the university, with local community organisations, businesses, and the health sector – to list a few examples!”
“Being part of MetMUnch has actually enabled me the space to develop my own educational philosophy on the paramount importance of collaboration, community and compassion, and has influenced my current PhD thesis research on compassion in legal education.”
“I am very proud to be a part of MetMUnch and I cannot wait to see how it expands from this point onwards.”
Hannah Morgan – MetMUncher since 2018
“I have been a part of MetMUnch since my first week of first year, I have now just finished my second year and can easily say that joining MetMUnch was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
“One of the main reasons I love being a part of MetMUnch is that it’s the perfect space to express my passion and enthusiasm for nutrition and food. I am surrounded by positive, supportive, like-minded people who only want you to become a better version of yourself.”
“Not only that, but we are led by the most creative, encouraging individuals. I often describe Haleh as my ‘yes woman’, because if I go to her with an idea, she will say yes, and do everything in her power to make it happen.”
“This has allowed me to not only develop certain skills like my teamwork, leadership, communication and organisational skills, but also develop in confidence and as a person.”
“It’s such a rewarding feeling knowing that you are part of a group that benefits the community we live in, whether that is through promoting sustainable eating by collaborating with local vegetable the gardens or educating the general public on a multitude of topics at the Science and Industry Museum.”
“Whether you are a current student, member of staff or alumni, MetMUnch will welcome you with open arms, as well as any ideas that you have.”
“Haleh and Dean come as a pair, one is never far from the other. What is surprising to me is that MetMUnch hasn’t already won this award, because there are no two people more deserving of it. The sheer amount of hard work and dedication, not just by them, but everyone puts into MetMUnch deserves to be recognised.”
“I am so proud to be a part of the team that has won this award, and I am very excited to see what the future holds.”