Springboard Blog

8 reasons to enter this year's Awards for Excellence - a word from the 2018 judges & winners

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The Springboard Awards for Excellence will be returning once again on Friday October 18th 2019. The Awards represent so much for the hospitality workforce, allowing professionals from all areas of the sector to receive the praise and recognition they deserve, as well as the wider industry. Entries are still open until 16th August, so if you needed that last push to enter for one of this year’s Awards then keep reading….


Boost your employer brand

The Awards for Excellence offer a fantastic opportunity for businesses to boost their employer brand to potential hires and advance themselves within the hospitality recruitment sphere. Gaining recognition for any one of our Award categories is an excellent testimony for your efforts as a business and the categories based on your people strategy in particular will certainly not go unnoticed by any prospective jobseekers.

"Following on from our communication regarding winning the award, we had a huge surge in applications to Kew Green Hotels. I think the most noticeable difference has been our ability to recruit within our Talent Resourcing team, as candidates have cited that being part of a company who have won awards for their approach, is extremely attractive." - Natasha Nagra, Kew Green Hotels, 2018 Award-Winner

"The Awards for Excellence are important for recruitment to retention. Progression and pay have always been challenges in the food & beverage sector. This is an opportunity for businesses to showcase the building blocks that could potentially make them an employer of choice.” - Andrea Smith, HR Director, Coty, 2018 Judge

“The Awards a great recognition tool for the employees and businesses involved; great as a recruitment tool” - Hannah Backhaus, Royal Lancaster London, 2018 Judge




Winning any one of the Awards for Excellence, or even just being shortlisted or nominated, places you amongst the most elite industry players. Year on year, we've seen more and more hospitality moguls taking part in our Awards for Excellence, allowing the Awards to gather an esteemed reputation. The Awards are widely known within the industry and have been won by some significant names in the past including the National Theatre, Hilton and London Cocktail Club.

“The Springboard Awards are about the people on the ground trying to make a difference. They're recognised by the industry, not for rewarding a company per se, but for recognising the people within that company.” - Amanda Foncette, Director of Enid HR Ltd, 2018 Judge

“All very good entrants . We had a very worthwhile and constructive discussion to find the winner. They all showed innovation, commitment and passion for hospitality. Plus, it helps that Springboard is a strong, well-known brand” - David Foskett, David Foskett Associates, 2018 Judge

"It’s a very prestigious award and it’s great to be recognised in the industry for the work we have done in the development of young chefs and helping them to achieve their full potential." - Victoria Joseph, Elior, 2018 Award-Winner


Reward your team and boost morale in the office

Reward team

What better way to show your appreciation for all of your team's hard work over the past few months than to nominate them to win an Award? Even having the chance to attend the illustrious Awards ceremony in October would be a great reward. After all, we all know that happy staff work 10 times harder!

"The nomination itself was fantastic for everyone and in all honesty just to be shortlisted as a finalist, against some really well known industry names, was as much as we dared hope for so to actually win one, and then the second was beyond our wildest dreams. It was a huge morale boost for everyone and a matter of personal achievement and pride too." - Danny Gill, Brown's Pie Shop, 2018 Winner

"Our team were delighted to be nominated and to be the winner in this category." - Victoria Joseph, Elior, 2018 Award-Winner

“We saw creativity, equality and people at the forefront” - Jessica Berry, Talent Manager, Doyle Collection, 2018 Judge

“As a key player in helping the industry attract talent the awards showcase the best of the best when it comes to talented people. The Springboard awards show prospective candidates that the winners really care about their people and want to provide an environment where they can grow and progress their careers” - Jo Harley, Managing Director, Purple Cubed, 2018 Judge


Networking opportunities


Attending the Awards for Excellence ceremony in October will provide you with the chance to mingle with hundreds of other hospitality industry professionals including this year's sponsors: American Express, Diageo, HIT Training, Caterer.com, James Hallam, Bidfood, Braehead, Learning Curve Group, Bonasystems, CORecruitment, Rota, CH&Co, Serviceline, Handpicked Hotels, Davin Foods.


Treat your clients to a fun night out


Our annual Awards for Excellence ceremony will be held at the Novotel London West on Friday 18th October and is one of Springboard's most captivating and elegant nights of the year. The evening will include a delicious three-course meal, petit fours and a drinks reception - why not invite along some clients to enjoy an evening of food, networking and celebration of this wonderful industry.


Support the hospitality industry

It's no secret to anyone of us that the hospitality industry rarely receives the praise and recognition that it deserves. The vibrant, diverse & inclusive world of hospitality is filled with thousands of hardworking & passionate people from a huge range of backgrounds and skillsets, all working together to achieve the same goals, and Springboard believes that it's hugely important to recognise and reward all of the key companies & members of this community, no matter their size, with our annual Awards for Excellence. If you feel that the hospitality industry has made a difference to your life then why not give back and show your support by entering for one of our Awards for this year.

“The Awards are so important because it's a chance to acknowledge that it is not just about profit or making sure you have a head count. Its giving back in a unique way.” - Amanda Foncette, Director of Enid HR Ltd, 2018 Judge

"The hospitality sector is often under-rated so celebration of excellence is important." - Jill Whittaker, HIT Training, 2018 Award-Winner

“All awards are important that recognise talent and commitment in our industry” - David Foskett, David Doskett Associates, 2018 Judge

“As above. They reward those who are really excelling not always the ones who have the most infrastructure.”Gemma Stewart, HR Manager, Koh Thai

“It is important to recognise and reward outstanding achievements and initiatives in the industry as well as promoting the industry externally” - Jessica Berry, Talent Manager, Doyle Collection, 2018 Judge

“It is so important especially  in the current climate that Housekeeping and their teams are recognised for the excellent work they do in hospitality, covering the largest physical area and usually generating the most profit for the hospitality  business.” - Liz Smith-Mills, Vice Chair for Yorkshire, Institute of Hospitality, 2018 Judge

“Hospitality operators face big challenges sourcing and hiring their team in the current climate of low unemployment and the people shortage our industry faces at the moment. It's important that we shine the light on employers who demonstrate innovation attracting, recruiting and retaining employees to show hospitality is a great job, gives improved life chances and is a real and beneficial careers choice for young people entering the employment market.” - Roy Walker, Associate Director, Harri, 2018 Judge

Support charity


The money raised by the Awards for Excellence help fund many of Springboard's crucial employability and educational programmes which will ultimately allow so many people of all ages and backgrounds with barriers to employment to achieve sustainable & meaningful careers in hospitality. Read Simon's story here to see how your support could really make a difference.

Increase industry awareness

As well as all of the other features and benefits of entering the Springboard Awards for Excellence listed above, it is a great opportunity to get the name of your company out there! In the run up to the Awards ceremony, Springboard will be promoting those who have been nominated & shortlisted across all of our various platforms, including email and social, providing a widespread reach for the names of all those companies involved. Aside from the obvious advantages of being nominated for or winning one of the Awards, simply entering them will place you at the forefront of Springboard's marketing.

"The two Awards we won act as a reference for potential new partners, something we can put forward as proof of our sincerity and viability of our scheme and as a result we have indeed been approached by several institutions looking to start schemes in the 2019-2020 academic year." - Danny Gill, Brown's Pie Shop, 2018 Award-Winner

"Winning an award has raised our profile and added value to us as an employer of choice" - Paul Coley, Elite Hotels, 2018 Award-Winner

Enter for one of our many categories at this year's Awards for Excellence now!

Tourism Takeover leads to dream job for Tom

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Tourism Takeover leads to dream job for Tom

Back in November 2018 a group of students from Foxes Academy, a hospitality training hotel for young people with learning disabilities, attended a 'Tourism Takeover Day' hosted by Springboard South West. The event took place at the Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay where Foxes' students ran a workshop. Teams of young people competed to create the best 'Foxy' decorated cake in a 15 minute time slot. The teams were judged on their creativity, ability to problem solve and work collaboratively. The Foxes students also took part in other workshops, one of which was run by the London Cocktail Club (LCC). At the end of the day LCC’s founder, JJ Goodman, gave an inspiring speech about working life in the hospitality sector.

Work experience is an ‘interview’ for young people with disabilities

The Foxes’ crew really enjoyed their experience and the event helped them to think about the next stages of their careers. As third years they begin their transition into paid employment, supported by a Transition Team, who help them to make choices about where and who to live with, and also the type of work environment and employer that will suit their skills and personalities. For one young man, Tom Hawkins aged 22, the takeover day offered a chance to follow his dream of getting a paid job as a barman in London. After chatting with JJ Goodman Tom attended a day’s training at London Cocktail Club’s Oxford Circus venue. Matthew Dakers, Head of Training and Recruitment for LCC was able to see Tom’s customer care approach in a live bar environment. He offered him two days’ work experience. This job matching process further allowed Matthew to see Tom’s skills in greater depth and also his ability to work as part of a dynamic team, much like an in-depth interview. We’re pleased to report that he got the job! A paid part-time role starting in summer 2019.

Tom is delighted by his offer of paid employment ”I was really happy to learn about making cocktails. The staff are helpful and the customers are good to you. I love being at the London Cocktail Club, it is important for my future.”

Meet Tom

During his three year course at Foxes Tom has gained an NVQ Level 1 Certificate in Hospitality Service along with nationally recognised qualifications in employability, presentation and food hygiene. In addition he has also had work experience with; CH&Co at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the banqueting team at Taunton Race Course and in food preparation with a care home in Minehead (where Foxes is based). He also gave evidence to the Youth Select Committee on work experience, broke the British record for powerlifting (ABPU Disability 75kg Class Raw Squat 100kg) and appeared on BBC’s The One Show with Sally Phillips promoting disability employment – phew! All of this despite the daily challenges he faces as a result of having Down’s syndrome and moderate learning disabilities. It is really humbling; he never complains and is very clear on achieving his life goal. We wish him all the best in his chosen career.

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8 reasons to sign up for the Team Velo Challenge 2019

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Springboard’s Team Velo Challenge is returning in September 2019! If you needed any more reasons to sign up for this year’s Challenge then you’re about to be convinced….



Among all of its other benefits and features, the Springboard Team Velo Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for making new connections within the hospitality industry. Not only will you have the chance to network with the other three members of your cycling team but you’ll also meet many other industry professionals along the journey at each of the pit stops and finally at the post-event party.

“I entered with a friend who works at Hand Picked Hotels, so this was the first time I had met the others on my team.  It was a great experience to share with others, tough at times and we were able to help each other through. Arriving into Paris was amazing, and again, great to share with others.  I made some good friends within the team so I guess it made a lasting impact! It’s something I would love to do again and share with others.” - Colin Fulford, Fulford Jones

“I bonded with people in our company from other hotels within our group and I have kept the relationship there with them since.” - Paul Pierce, Hand Picked Hotels

“Crossing the finish line with 'like-minded' people from different companies, and the sweet first beer at the end had to be my highlights.” - Benjamin Wilson, The Genuine Dining Company

“Spending time outside of the normal 9-5 routine really helps you to bond and develop friendships. With each year we are also getting to know other participants better too.” - Chris West, Team Lexington

“The overall event is well organised and the group of riders bond. I have met some new people from other companies as many of our team did as well. There is an amazing sense of achievement when you are having a cold beer in the Pullman!” - Douglas Waddell, Hand Picked Hotels



What better way to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself than with a 250-mile cycle ride from London to Paris? The Team Velo Challenge will put your body and mind to the test through a feat of endurance, allowing you to reach heights of physical strength and fitness you’ve never achieved before. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when completing the ride and arriving in Paris will be like no other, and even better knowing that you’ve simultaneously helped to raise vital funds to go towards helping those who need it the most.

“The most rewarding thing was riding into Paris past Versailles knowing what an epic challenge you have just undertaken” - Daniel Bradeley, Sky

“Even though I raced as a professional, I never completing a touring style event like this so it was nice to actually ride from one city to another.” - Joe Perrett, The Genuine Dining Company

“I have always enjoyed riding and wanted to push myself, which this ride certainly did. I was so proud of myself and my team and everyone else involved.” - Dave Collier, We Are Shard

“I wanted to challenge myself and do something completely outside my comfort zone - that it was for a good cause was an amazing bonus. As someone who loves the hospitality industry, Springboard's work is close to my heart. When putting yourself through something challenging, it helps to know that it is in aid of something amazing and really drives you to do your best.” 

“I have never done anything on this scale - cycling up to the Eiffel Tower on that third day will never leave me.” - Johan Joubert, Team Lexington

Johan Velo


The Team Velo Challenge requires each team to hold a strong rapport and trust in one another; you must rely on your teammates to support everyone so that you all complete the race together. Activities such as this are crucial for building and strengthening existing team relationships in a working environment. You can be confident that you’ll come away from the Challenge with a newfound sense of friendship, trust and support towards your teammates which will be hugely beneficial when reflected upon your return to the workplace.

“The challenge was great to get to know more of my colleagues and meet some new friends” - Daniel Bradeley, Sky

“This year I competed with our central support team whom I would usually only see passing through our offices, it was a great pleasure to get to know these 'genuine' people as individuals and understand what makes them tick." - Benjamin Wilson, The Genuine Dining Company

“It's helped cement bonds with the people/departments that were in our team.” - Richard Garcia, CH&Co

“Riding into Paris and up to the Eiffel Tower is unforgettable. The camaraderie of the team and completing the challenge give a lasting sense of satisfaction. Friendships and relationships are properly forged on the road!” - Matt Simon, CH&Co

“Our team worked really hard together... loads of encouragement and congratulations once hard sections of the ride were complete. We all still socialise and have planned further rides in 2019.” - Dave Collier, We Are Shard

“We had two teams in the challenge and the 8 gelled as a group and each four has a special bond and still refer back to it all these months later.” - Douglas Waddell, Hand Picked Hotels

“It created amazing opportunities to bring the team closer together and form bonds. We did a lot of fun fundraising in the office, which created an amazing atmosphere and actually really lifted the spirits in the team.” - Johan Joubert, Team Lexington

“It is a great bonding experience. Lifelong friendships are built from shared hardship and enjoyment.” - Keith Poole



Aside from all other advantages of the Challenge, who could say no to a long weekend trip to Paris? As you make the journey from London to Paris, make sure to take a look around you and enjoy the sights of the glorious french countryside you miss out on when making the journey by plane or train! What better way to support the work of The Springboard Charity than while enjoying a holiday is there?

“Helping others is rewarding however it was a really social event and thoroughly enjoyed it.” - Richard Garcia, CH&Co

“It was an opportunity to do several great things- to ride my bike across stunning countryside in England and France, to spend relaxed time away from work with colleagues from across the business, to take on a real journey between two capital cities and to support a really important cause in the process.” - Matt Simon, CH&Co

“The most rewarding part would have to be riding through France and the approach into Paris, you have to have your wits about you but enjoyable all the same.” - Chris West, Lexington

“But all the fun things leading up to that, including the amazing sights you cycle through and the people you meet, it made a massive impression.” - Johan Joubert, Team Lexington


Get fit!

Are you nostalgic for the days when you could run a mile without breaking a sweat? Or perhaps the Challenge is the encouragement you needed to finally get your fitness back on track? Whatever your reasons, everybody will benefit from the physical demands presented by the Team Velo Challenge. There’s no excuse for not taking care of yourself, especially not when you could change the lives of others while you do so!

“I used to race a bike for a living so the chance to ride to Paris for charity appealed to me.” - Joe Perrett, The Genuine Dining Company 

“It's great to get people out of their comfort zone and try something they never imagined they could achieve.” - Chris West, Team Lexington


Build your employer brand

By partaking in the Team Velo Challenge, you’ll become a representative both for The Springboard Charity and for your respective companies. The Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to improve your employer brand by supporting both the hospitality industry and the charity. Your participation may well become a selling point for the values and priorities of your business, potentially driving both staff attraction and retention.

“It is a great way to promote charities, teamwork and get corporate buy in to support charities.” - Keith Poole


Supporting charity

With the hospitality industry currently in a precarious state of flux due to impending economic and political uncertainties, the work of Springboard is more important than ever. Events like the Team Velo Challenge are some of the biggest fundraisers for The Springboard Charity, allowing us to continue running employability programmes and supporting those with barriers to employment to achieve sustainable & meaningful careers in hospitality. Your participation in these events is key to our success.

“The charity being supported for this event gives extra motivation to take on and complete the event” - Daniel Bradeley, Sky

“Creating opportunities for people is a great cause and if riding my bike can help, even better.” - Joe Perrett, The Genuine Dining Company

“To support a great cause, generating good revenue that will support people into the industry I have been lucky enough to have made my own career in. The industry needs good people and sometimes good people need a hand in finding their way to it.” - Benjamin Wilson, The Genuine Dining Company

“We did it the year before and enjoyed the event. We have also been long term supporters of Springboard so saw this as a good but different way of being involved.” - Douglas Waddell, Hand Picked Hotels


Supporting the hospitality industry

As mentioned above, it’s no secret to anyone personally linked to the hospitality industry that the sector does not receive the praise and recognition it so deserves. With growing chef shortages, a less-than-ideal staff turnover rate and plummeting staff attraction, it is integral that organisations like Springboard do everything we can to remedy this problem. As with all activities, programmes and events executed by Springboard, the more industry leaders and professionals we can recruit to join our promotion of the industry, the more effective our unified message will be.

 "It's so important to support a charity like Springboard so that we may help younger people join the hospitality industry". - Richard Walker, Hand Picked Hotels

“It was such a well organised event that I wanted to help raise money again for Springboard in 2018. I also enjoyed the 2017 challenge so much that wanted to help others gain the same experience. Having worked in hospitality all my adult life, it felt only right to try to and put a little bit back into an industry that has given me so much over the years. It is difficult to convince young people to pursue a career in catering, so any help or support we can provide Springboard surely seems like a no brainer.” - Chris West, Team Lexington

To enter for this year’s Team Velo Challenge, please complete this form