Springboard Blog

Michael Caines MBE confirmed for Arena Christmas

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On Monday 3 December 2018, the Arena Christmas Event returns to the magnificent Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. The esteemed and celebrated chef Michael Caines MBE will headline the popular event and industry commentator, Peter Backman, will present an exclusive industry insight session and debate.

Michael Caines will share the story of his impressive career to date, including his culinary inspirations, his Michelin-star successes, his journey with Lympstone Manor and the planting of the vineyard. He will also talk about his plans and aspirations and his thoughts on the key issues affecting the industry.

Peter Backman will explore the high street’s influence and looks at what the future may hold for the foodservice and hospitality industry. An esteemed panel of innovators and leaders will join Peter in conversation to consider the hot topics from different perspectives.

Lorraine Wood, director of Arena, said: “We’re thrilled to be returning to the glorious Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park for the Arena Christmas Event. What better way to kick off the festive season?

“Michael Caines’ post-lunch address is sure to be fascinating and inspiring, and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. Peter Backman’s insight session and debate will consider industry topics from different perspectives. He’s lining up a great panel of innovators including Rob Liddiard, co-founder and CEO of hospitality messaging app, Yapster. Attendees are sure to have plenty to think about and take back to their businesses.

“Our events attract a diverse mix of attendees that open up a fresh audience and generate new, beneficial connections between foodservice and hospitality professionals from across the sectors. I look forward to seeing many old and new faces at the Arena Christmas Event.”

Starting at 10.30am the Arena Christmas Event includes educational, engaging and inspiring speakers, plus valuable opportunities to interact with industry peers and experience the exceptional hospitality of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park during the drinks reception and three-course lunch.

Tickets cost £159+VAT for Arena members and £199+VAT for non-members. Tables of ten are also available to members and non-members at discounted rates.
For further information and tickets visit www.arena.org.uk/event/3556 or contact Lorraine Wood on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 07803 853 618.

Join the conversation @arenanetworking #Xmas2018

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.