Springboard Blog

A fantastic and emotional night for all involved!

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Another number of incredible companies rewarded for their outstanding success, and vital money raised for the charity  – Springboard’s Awards for Excellence 2018 were a smashing success!

It was a wonderful night for absolutely everyone involved – full of delicious food, talented entertainment and an unbeatable atmosphere. Click here to see all the photos from the event.

The Awards exist, not only to promote the excellence within the hospitality industry, but also to raise vital funds for The Springboard Charity. These funds help people from disadvantaged backgrounds get meaningful work within the sector, by taking part in our IntoWork and educational programmes all across the UK.

And with so much talent in this year’s shortlist, it was a challenge to decide on the winners. However, thanks to our fabulous judges, we were finally able to make our decisions – and are proud to announce this year’s winners:

Category One – Promoting Careers

  • Individual Ambassador Award – Mark Heirs
  • Group Ambassador Award – CH&Co
  • Best Regional Initiative Award – Delaware North
  • Best Education & Industry Partnership Award – Browns Pie Shop

Category Two – Attracting and Developing People

  • Best Work Experience Provider – Elite Hotels
  • Best Use of Digital Media to Attract Talent – Umbrella Training
  • Best Recruitment Initiative Award – Kew Green Hotels
  • Best Young People Attraction and Development Award – Browns Pie Shop
  • Best Chef Development Strategy Award – Elior
  • Best Housekeeping Team Initiative Award – Borthwick Castle
  • Best Management Strategy Award – Georgian House
  • Best Wine Strategy Award – The Vineyard

Category Three – Best Employment Practice

  • Best Apprenticeship Strategy Award – Mitchells & Butlers
  • Best Career Progression Award – Cote Restaurants Ltd
  • Best Staff Retention Award – Accor Hotels
  • Best Community Engagement Award – Bidfood
  • Best Employer Award – Royal Lancaster London

Special Awards

  • The Fiona Colley Award – Stacy Smith
  • The CEO Award – Derek Mapp
  • The Chris Beaumont Special Award – Frank Coughlan

There was also a final special award presented by Springboard Chairman Stephen Moss, to CEO Anne Pierce for her fantastic service to the charity on the approach of her 21 years at the helm which received a standing ovation from all those in attendance.

Thank you to everyone who came to this year’s Springboard Awards for Excellence. Make sure you keep tweeting your amazing photos, using the hashtag - #SpringboardAwards

Huge thanks to our headline sponsors Harri and Bunzl for their continued support, alongside the other sponsors whose logos you can see below.

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!


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Shanella's Biggest Challenge - Hospitality Futures

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Shanella had always dreamed of becoming an air hostess, but after a spell of unemployment starting in 2016, her confidence was severely knocked. In October 2017, she joined the Hospitality Futures programme, in an attempt to regain her confidence and begin a long, fulfilling career in hospitality.

A lack of confidence seemed to be Shanella’s biggest challenge. It was clear from the outset that she was introverted, and was often overcritical of her own performance. Fortunately, with some gentle encouragement she began to open up to the team, taking charge of her education and even making new friends on the course. Step-by-step, the Hospitality Futures programme helped her to break through her barriers.

At the end of the programme, Shanella had made leaps and bounds in her performance and confidence. Not only did she show passion and determination within the course itself, but also by taking a lead role in our graduation day – presenting in front of over 70 people at the ceremony.

After completing the course, Shanella undertook a two-week work placement at the Park Plaza Riverbank. After recognising her untapped potential, the four-star hotel offered her a position as a receptionist, a role that she eagerly accepted.

All of this was possible through our IntoWork programmes – including Hospitality Futures – which are all made possible by our generous funders and charity events.

An interview with Hannah Horler, TREK 2018: Vietnam

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Hannah Horler is the Managing Director of Cartwheel Recruitment, and took part in Springboard's TREK '18: Vietnam. We chatted to her to see if she had any advice for the next generation of Trekkers. 

How did you fundraise the required amount for TREK? What tips do you have for newbies who may have never fundraised before?

"I actually raised my funds entirely through donations. When doing this, target the key people you know, and send the appeal out several times (taking off the names of those who have donated, as you go) - this way you gently keep on top of those who often say yes, but won’t get around to it without a couple of nudges."

In what ways did you prepare for TREK – physically, mentally or in terms of clothing and equipment? Do you have any advice that you wish someone might have given you beforehand?

"In terms of preparation for the trek, I ensured I kept fit. The treks aren’t overly challenging, so you don’t need to worry about not being super fit – but you do need to be comfortable being on your feet for many hours every day. If you’re normally less active, make sure you walk a lot in preparation. Good quality walking socks are a must though - It makes such a difference to your feet! Take either one pair for each day, or you could even manage with a pair for every two days."

"The one thing that was not communicated as well was about casual clothing for the evenings. You tend to focus on your trekking gear when packing, and don’t think about what you’re going to change into after a day of trekking, so take some casual/comfortable lounging gear. Also, ask if you’ll be going to any smart restaurants, for which you’ll need one or two smart outfits."

What was the best part about TREK? How did the TREK enrich your life? How did it feel to help people across the world, while undertaking the adventure of a lifetime?

"There were many great parts of the trek. The walking and amazing scenery is a great escape from normal day-to-day life, and having time to chat with lots of interesting people really enriches your life.

"As does the school project. It was very humbling putting in so much effort and seeing the sheer gratitude of the locals at what were able to leave them with. Truly special memories."

If you'd take the journey of a lifetime, while helping people all across the world, then make sure you head to springboard.uk.net/TREK.