About the trustees

Claire Aylward

Claire Aylward (née Harrison)


Claire began her catering career holding various managerial roles in leading business and industry and government organisations. Since joining the family business, Harrison Catering Services, in 1995, Claire has gained significant experience in both education and business and industry operations and was appointed to the Board and a Directorship in 2006. Claire has been Sales and Marketing Director since April 2010 and her focus within the business is on further growth, splitting her time between managing sales and opportunities within the existing client base and supporting the external sales function in the drive for growth of new opportunities. April 2012 saw her appointment to Joint Managing Director along with her brother Gareth.

Claire is married with two children and has a passion for cooking and entertaining.


The Rt Hon The Lord Lingfield Kt MEd DLitt DL






The Lord Lingfield is the Pro-Chancellor of Brunel University.

In the eighties he was for six years the Director General of St John Ambulance. In 1989 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to lead the drive for school autonomy and was in charge, until 1997, of grant-maintained schools, which comprised a fifth of the state secondary system and some hundreds of primary and special schools. He was asked by David Cameron to chair his Commission on Special Education Needs between 2005 and 2010. He has recently been appointed by the Secretary of State to chair a national review of professionalism in Further Education.

He founded some sixteen years ago (and currently chairs) the English Schools’ Orchestra and also the League of Mercy, a charity which encourages voluntary work for the disabled in many healthcare areas.

As Sir Robert Balchin he was knighted for services to education in 1993. He is also a Knight of the Order of St John and holds several foreign awards. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London and has received several honorary degrees and fellowships.

In 2006 his appointment as Knight Principal (Chairman of the Knights’ Council) of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth was approved by The Queen.

He was created a Peer of the United Kingdom for life in 2010.


Professor David Foskett, MBE CMA FHI Bed ( Hons )






Professor David Foskett is the previous Dean of the London School of Hospitality and Tourism at The University of West London. Professor Foskett is a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts, Craft Guild of Chefs and Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality and has worked within the hospitality industry for over 40 years coupled with a career with The University of West London stretching back 35 years.

Professor Foskett sits on various guiding committees advising on hospitality training and education coupled with conducting extensive research on trends and growth within the hospitality industry and innovative creative product development for a number of international companies. These are just some of David’s achievements to date:

  • Pioneering the BSc in International Culinary Arts for Practicing Chefs, the first of its kind in the UK.
  • Having developed many other innovative courses for industry career development.
  • Co-authoring Practical Cookery and The Theory of Hospitality and Catering—together these books have sold more than two million copies—and several other leading text books for the industry and education. Other books he has co authored are on Supervisory and Food and Beverage Management
  • Authoring several papers on hospitality and food production.
  • Pioneering the hugely successful Saturday morning Junior Chefs Academy for local high school children.
  • Helping to raise thousands of pounds for charity through his association with the Society of Stars and by helping to organise fundraising dinners.
  • Serving as Hospitality & Food Consultant for two Royal Households.
  • Achieving many gold medal awards and competition successes.
  • Being named "Chef of the Year" runner up three times.
  • Being voted by the industry as one of the most influential people in hospitality in the UK today.

As well as being awarded the prestigious MBE by her majesty The Queen, David is also a judge on the most prestigious Catey Awards and was awarded a Catey Award himself in 2003 for Education and Training—considered to be the Oscar of the hospitality and catering industry.

In 2004 David was also awarded a special award from the Craft Guild of Chefs for Outstanding Recognition.

In 2007 he was awarded the grade ‘Chevalier dans l’ordre du Merite Agricole’ from the President of France.

Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison







Richard Harrison is Finance Director of Harrison Catering Services, a role he has enjoyed since joining the company in April 2006. Prior to this, his career included senior financial positions in both blue chip plcs and private businesses. Having started his career in the automotive industry, he then took up an international auditing role, before board level positions with an automotive components manufacturer and then a medical services business.  Richard is not related to Geoffrey Harrison and describes his name as a ‘happy coincidence’.

Living in Oxfordshire, Richard enjoys playing golf and is married with two teenage children.

Geoffrey Harrison

Geoffrey Harrison


Geoffrey qualified as a chef and initially worked in a range of commercial restaurants before moving on to contract catering. His career has taken him from the highly-unionised Ford Motor Company plants, to city restaurants, to managing the groundbreaking first privately run local authority school meals service. His roles have covered all aspects of operational management and business development, including Managing Director of Fairfield Catering, the specialist education subsidiary of P&O Services, which was acquired by Granada.

In 1994, Geoffrey founded Harrison Catering Services to provide clients with a bespoke, fresh food offer at a reasonable price. Geoffrey was running three school meals contracts within his first four months of operation and gained his first business and industry contract in 1996.

In July 2010, Geoffrey's contribution to catering was recognised when he was awarded Food Service Caterer of the Year at the prestigious Catey Awards. He was named by Ernst & Young as one of the London and South Regional Winners in their 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In 2014 his significant contribution to education catering was recognised with the Special Award at the EDUcatering Excellence Awards, and in 2015 he received the Contract Catering Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cost Sector Catering Awards.

Under Geoffrey’s leadership, Harrison Catering Services has achieved, through organic growth, impressive success, reaching a turnover of £57 million in 2013-14. There have been many outstanding achievements through the years, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of Geoffrey’s role continues to be the days that he spends talking to his catering teams and tasting the fresh food they have produced for clients and customers.

Geoffrey is married with two children, Gareth and Claire, who serve as Joint Managing Directors of Harrison Catering Services. His interests include outdoor pursuits, conservation, golf and family.

Gareth Harrison

Gareth Harrison







After four years working as a commercial chef in a number of famous restaurants in Berkshire and Lancashire, Gareth joined Harrison Catering Services in 1998, heading up the prestigious Reader's Digest contract in the heart of Canary Wharf. Since then he has worked in numerous aspects of the family business, including executive chef, manager client services, food development and procurement manager, before being appointed to the Board and Director of Group Business in 2006. In September 2010, Gareth was made Director Client Services, responsible for both the group contracts side of the company's education business and contracts in the business and industry sector.  April 2012 saw his appointment to Joint Managing Director along with his sister Claire.

Gareth is married and has a young son, enjoys fine dining and is a keen golfer.


Geoff Booth







Geoff Booth has thirty years of management experience in the hospitality, business and tourism sectors, including education, training, research and business development.

Key areas of hospitality activities include building education and industry networks and the development of partnerships between employers, training providers and local communities.

He is CEO of PACE (Professional Association of Catering Education – representing 190 colleges offering Hospitality, Culinary and Service training). PACE represents over 5,000 lecturers and 100,000 Trainees and is connected to over 19000 employers across the U.K.

Geoff is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality (FIH), and the Institute of Directors. He holds a MSoc Sc in Tourism and Leisure Services, an NVQ5 in Management Henley Management Centre), A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks of London, having the freedom of the City of London, and a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts. He is a Founder Member of the Mercury Intelligence Group (an industry Trends and Futures network) and Founder Member of the British Californian (BritCA) Foundation for international food development and entrepreneurship.