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Students in Lenton and Wortley Hall are trying to save their Kitchen Manager after her removal from the catering post.

Yesterday, the students from the hall gathered before dinner and went to visit Maria Borrageiros during her training for the new posting at Willoughby Hall of residence.

Speaking to Impact, Maria said she appreciated all the students were doing to support her return, saying: “I can’t believe it – I’m speechless. I really appreciate all they’re trying to do.”

“My heart is in Lenton and my heart will die in Lenton”, she added.

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After 20 years as a Kitchen Manager in Lenton and Wortley, Maria is being moved to Willoughby as part of an operational efficiency policy.

Shivam Saujani, Lenton and Wortley’s current JCR President explained that this University policy rotates catering staff around the halls every four years.

He stated that the campaign is “to show solidarity with Maria”, adding that “she’s a part of Lenton folklore.”

“My heart is in Lenton and my heart will die in Lenton”

In a letter to Jonathan Hamblett, the Catering Operations Director, Shivam stated: “We do not want Maria to go for the simple fact that her relationship with our mentors, her relationship with students and her relationship with her current staff is more than just a working combination.

“It is a well oiled machine and although it may not reach your requirements, it more than satisfies ours and thousands of Lentoners before us.”

A social media campaign was launched earlier this year with the “Save Maria” Facebook page currently sporting over 450 likes. According to History and Politics student Olivia Redmond, the campaign is also receiving a lot of support from previous Lenton and Wortley students.

Other students supporting “Save Maria” also expressed their appreciation for their “mum away from home.”

Natural Sciences student, Sarah Rosen, expressed concerns about her food allergies, saying that Maria was the one to deal with these: “I used to be in Cripps before Lenton and the chef was really nice there but the dining room leader was really inconsiderate of my allergies. Maria is really nice about it.”

Jens Michael, a Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry student, said, ”She’s a truly lovely lady who cares for all of us and knows each and every one of us personally. She’s an integral part of this hall and Lenton and Wortley just wouldn’t be the same without her.”

Antonia Paget

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