Springboard Blog

12 ways of Christmas

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All we want for Christmas is your support! Join us in our mission to help young people and those with barriers to employment into sustainable jobs in Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism… 

1 Amazon Smile

Perhaps the easiest way for you to contribute to The Springboard Charity this Christmas, without having to spend any extra pennies is simply by doing your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your sofa! When you shop on https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ and select The Springboard Charity as your default charity, 0.5%1 of your purchase will be donated to us! With Amazon’s array of products growing by the day, you’ll be able to find and order gifts for all your loved ones, while helping Springboard to fund its life-changing educational and employability programmes.

2 Come along to our Christmas Carols service

Book your place at Springboard’s annual Christmas Carols service on Monday 2nd December and enjoy a festive evening of carol singing and traditional readings followed by a feast at the magnificent Landmark Hotel in Marylebone! The carols will begin at the stunning St. Cyprian’s Church in St Pancras, where you’ll hear the dulcet tones of their impressive choir performing some festive favourites (and hopefully you’ll join in too!). Guests will then head to the nearby Landmark Hotel to marvel at their fantastic Christmas decorations, most notably their impressive Christmas tree, and enjoy food, mulled wine and great company. Tickets are just £28 per person - please click here.

3 Christmas Card Amnesty

This year, we want to invite everybody to forgo Christmas cards in favour of a £10 donation to The Springboard Charity. Not only will you save time by avoiding the hassle of buying, writing and posting Christmas cards, you’ll also be making a more environmentally conscious decision, whilst helping somebody who faces barriers to employment to achieve their potential. All donations to The Springboard Charity make a huge difference to our mission to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment; no matter how big or small, we’re enormously grateful for your support.

4 Take on a Personal Fundraising Challenge

Whether you’re embarking on a sporting feat, cutting out something unhealthy or organising an event, we would love it if you adopted Springboard as the charity you did your fundraising for. We recommend using Wonderful.org as the platform to use to set up your fundraiser page.

5 Become a Friend of Springboard

Friends of Springboard is a tool for those who have achieved success in their own careers to give back to those who need it most, in the form of an annual or monthly donation to The Springboard Charity. For just £200 a year, you can become a Friend of Springboard and you will receive updates on exactly how your donation has been used to make an impact to a person with barriers to employment. This Christmas, why not provide someone with the gift that keeps on giving by becoming a Friend of Springboard? 

6 A special kind of gift

One of the best ways you can donate funds to The Springboard Charity is by attending our fabulous upcoming fundraising events! Our 2020 events calendar will be filled with more exciting events & opportunities than ever before - in celebration of Springboard’s 30th anniversary, we’ve got some TOP SECRET sensational events taking place, as well as bigger & better revivals of all of our popular annual favourites. Tickets to some of our upcoming events are already on sale and would make excellent Christmas presents - treat someone to a culinary experience to warm their bellies and their hearts with our Food for Thought event, taking place at the stunning Clevedon Hall in Bristol. More information on the Springboard events to add to your diary can be found here!

7 Provide Work Placements to Springboard’s Candidates

If you work in the hospitality, leisure or tourism industries, would your organisation be able to offer work placements to our trainees? On-the-job experience is invaluable, as it not only gives people an opportunity to see behind the scenes of a role in hospitality but it also improves their confidence and understanding of the industry, making it far more likely for the candidate to find employment afterwards.

8 Volunteer as a Mentor

Springboard’s GEMS mentorship programme supports university students on Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism courses by providing skills training, confidence-building workshops, careers advice and work experience. To help inspire a young person and nurture a valuable pipeline of talent into the hospitality industry, become a mentor today and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

9 Sponsor an Event 

Springboard organise many unique and entertaining fundraising events throughout the year, from pub quizzes and dinners to walking treks and challenges in remote parts of Africa, as well as a West End panto and, of course, our renowned annual Awards for Excellence, celebrating companies and individuals who have achieved something extraordinary within the hospitality industry. These events attract a lot of attention and publicity. Luckily, there are many opportunities to become a sponsor and have your own company’s branding associated with these moments of greatness in the build-up, during and even after the event has taken place. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express an interest in being a sponsor!  

10 Make an Online Donation

If you would like to donate to Springboard and the work we do to support people into hospitality jobs, please visit our Wonderful Page: https://wonderful.org/charity/thespringboardcharity 

We’re so grateful for your generous support, however big or small!

11 Share the Joy 

Talk about the great work we do at Springboard with the world! Why not follow us and share our posts on social media? We’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

12 Refer People to Us

If you know of anybody that might be interested in a job in hospitality, but is struggling to get employment, please put them in touch with us! We might be able to work with them to improve their skills, confidence and experience, getting them ready for a career in hospitality.

3 ways YOU can use FutureChef to improve your business

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FutureChef is an industry-endorsed programme supporting young people aged 12-16 to discover a love of cooking, inspiring them to embark on a future career in the industry. The programme relies on the involvement of chefs to work with schools, mentoring students during the competition and inspiring them to consider careers in the industry. Using our 20 years’ experience running FutureChef, we’ve come up with 3 key ways in which you can maximise the opportunities available to develop a talent pipeline.

Demonstrate your commitment and reap the benefits!

The success of the FutureChef programme is largely made up of the support and time provided by industry professionals. While they may not be dealing with the stress of working in a professional kitchen, being a Food Technology teacher is tough. With a large proportion of their time taken up by marking, lesson-planning and dealing with pastoral issues, their students could really benefit from an expert voice in the classroom.

For our partnerships with chefs to be successful, we need to have commitment that you’ll uphold your promise.

Of course, we understand that unplanned inconveniences can disrupt your plans though. Last minute bookings? A shortage in the kitchen? Changes to the rota? These things happen but when it conflicts with a visit to one of our schools, there are plenty of ways to tackle it:

  1. Secure a backup chef in case of emergency – this could be a sous-chef or another colleague!
  2. If you find out in advance, we ask that you please let the FutureChef team know as soon as possible so that we can rearrange your visit for a more convenient time.

Fostering a good relationship with schools allows you to tap into a large local talent pool. Businesses paired with a school are far more likely to be able to hire those students into apprenticeships.

Remember that you are representing your company AND the industry!

Whether you are visiting a school, mentoring a student or even showing students around your kitchens, it’s hugely important for our chefs to proudly fly the flag for the hospitality industry, using your platform to promote your profession as a fantastic place to work to the students.

  • Bring along marketing materials to inform and educate students about your place of work
  • Additionally, provide some marketing materials about your apprenticeship programmes
  • Help us to tackle the negative preconceptions about working in the food industry and use positive language
  • Explain all of the varied opportunities and avenues through which one can become a chef, dispelling any misconceptions the students may have.
  • Consider the age of the group you are addressing – with younger students, focus on inspiring them and sharing all of the features and benefits of a career as a chef. For older students who have already elected to study Food Technology, make sure to promote the industry as a whole and educate them on the range of career paths available.

Develop your own staff members’ skillsets through the programme!

Whilst the programme is primarily designed with students and teachers in mind, FutureChef is also a fantastic way of growing and developing the chefs in your own team. The programme provides them with an excellent platform through which they can learn mentorship skills by nurturing young talent, which they can later apply to managing other team members.

“FutureChef affords chefs the opportunity to highlight and develop skills that are required in more senior kitchen roles. Whether it’s presenting to a group of students, developing new dishes with competitors or building relationships for a business with a school, FutureChef offers an environment where your staff can excel.” David Mulcahy, Food Development & Innovation Director, Sodexo

How many junior members of your team would benefit from opportunities to prove their soft skills for future roles in your organisation?


A night to celebrate all things hospitality

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Last Friday 18th October, we were delighted to see so many familiar faces as well as several new supporters attending our Awards for Excellence 2019 at the Novotel London West - the Awards were a huge success for a 17th year running!

The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all those in attendance, involving delicious food & drink, wonderful entertainment and, of course, an incredible feeling of community & celebration for the hospitality industry.

The Awards exist to celebrate and promote the fantastic work being contributed to the industry by some incredible employers, while also raising funds for Springboard to help to promote careers in hospitality and raise its profile while improving staff attraction and retention rates.

With an undoubtedly competitive stream of high-quality entries for this year's Awards, the decision-making process was not easy for our expert judging panel, however the following list reveals the worthy winners of each of our twenty Award categories - including a brand new Award for 2019.

Category One – Promoting Careers

  • Individual Ambassador Award – Michael Taylor, Sodexo
  • Group Ambassador Award – Hilton Hotels
  • Best Regional Initiative Award – Browns Pie Shop
  • Best Education & Industry Partnership Award – Harrison Catering

Category Two – Attraction and Development

  • Best Work Experience Provider – Jurys Inn Brighton
  • Best Use of Digital Media to Attract Talent – Kew Green Hotels
  • Best Recruitment Initiative Award – Hilton UK & Ireland
  • Best Young People Attraction and Development Award – Kew Green Hotels
  • Best Chef Development Strategy Award – Mitchells & Butlers
  • Best Housekeeping Team Initiative Award – PPHE Hotel Group
  • Best Management Strategy Award – CenterParcs
  • Best Wine Strategy Award – The Ritz London

Category Three – Best Employment Practice

  • Best Apprenticeship Strategy Award – Sodexo
  • Best Career Progression Award – Casual Dining Group
  • Best Staff Retention Award – Hilton Newcastle
  • Best Community Engagement Award – Kew Green Hotels
  • Best Employer Award – The Grand Folkestone

Special Awards

  • The Fiona Colley Award – Ryan Morrison
  • The Chris Beaumont Special Award – Michael Sloan
  • The President's Extra Mile Award - Arletty Jooron

If you would like to help support the charity as a sponsor for next year’s Springboard Awards for Excellence, then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We'll see you next year!