Springboard Blog

Joe's story

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Joe took part in our Hospitality Futures programme back in 2017, and has gone from strength to strength since then. Read on to find out how The Springboard Charity helped Joe turn his life around. 

According to Joe, he would probably be in prison, homeless or dead without the help of The Springboard Charity.

Growing up in a single family of four, life for young Joe was hard – with him and his siblings sometimes going without gas, electricity and even food. Things got worse as he grew up, falling in with a bad crowd, which made life even more difficult. He was unable to hold down a job for more than six months, frequently used drugs, and eventually ended up homeless – in and out of hostels filled with ex-offenders, and sometimes sleeping on the back of buses until morning. Joe knew he needed help, but felt lost, and had no idea where to turn.

That’s when Joe found The Springboard Charity, referred by a youth worker. Joe didn’t feel judged by Springboard, and through the Hospitality Futures programme, was able to learn new skills, build his confidence and prove to himself how much he could achieve. His life improved dramatically with each step, and with Springboard’s support, landed work experience at the Rubens at the Palace, Victoria, where he stayed for 11 months – something he may not have achieved with the help of The Springboard Charity.

Since getting involved with The Springboard Charity, Joe is a different person. He now works as a barman/waiter at Hilton London Bridge, and his skills and confidence have skyrocketed. Not only is he flourishing in his professional life, but even speaks at Springboard’s various events – helping others who have been through similar struggles.

Joe is now eagerly awaiting his future, striving to open up his own café-patisserie with his fiancée (who happens to be a pastry chef), and to continue assisting The Springboard Charity in helping others like himself to improve their lives. From a time which could have ended in tragedy, Joe is now on track for a bright and exciting future.

To help other people like Joe get back on their feet and begin a successful & sustainable career in the hospitality industry, enter our Awards for Excellence 2019 here.

North Devon Schools Experience Interactive Hospitality and Tourism Takeover Day

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On Monday 25th March, over 130 year 9 &10 pupils from across North Devon had the chance to experience the skills required to begin a career in the hospitality and tourism industry. Organised by The Springboard Charity, they attended an interactive skills challenge Takeover Day designed to promote careers in hospitality and tourism in North Devon and aligning with the skills strategy of the region.

The hands-on Takeover Day experience provided pupils with a series of hospitality and tourism skills challenges. A wide range of workshops were provided throughout the day including sensory food tasting, butchery & fish workshops, sales & marketing, mocktails, beauty & spa aromas and housekeeping.

As part of these inspirational hospitality workshops, pupils learned directly from a spectrum of major employers who attended the event, including Brend Hotels, Kentisbury Grange, The Thurlestone Hotel, plus industry experts from Petroc College, Total Produce and Philip Dennis Food Service.  Petroc level 3 catering students were  on hand for the day as ambassadors and cooked, served and hosted the day.

The event was opened by Jon Hardy, assistant principal.  Jon commented: ”I was delighted to be part of the Hospitality and Tourism Takeover day. The tourism and hospitality industry is one of North Devon’s most important industries, and one that has huge potential to grow but needs more people to join and make it their career of choice, so events like this are hugely important!”

Andy from Block inspired the students with his journey and said “Students today have more choices than ever about how they navigate their journey into employment so events like this are a brilliant opportunity to inspire them to consider a career in hospitality.”

Gemma Edmonds from Springboard added “There are a breadth of jobs in the industry, of which young people are often not made aware.   I am delighted that Petroc partnered with Springboard to showcase the industry as an exciting and dynamic place to work and to open young people's eyes to what a fantastic industry this is to work in.  The day really showcased the industry and got pupils to consider a career in the sector. Many pupils who hadn’t thought about a career in hospitality and tourism previously are now considering working in the sector. We were thrilled at how engaged and enthusiastic the pupils were”

For further information contact:

Gemma Edmonds, Head of South West, 07825 776819

Springboard’s FutureChef reaches parliament!

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Last Monday 18th March, we were delighted to award the winning prize for our 2019 FutureChef final to 14 year-old Jessica Mitchell from Glasgow, Scotland. The final was held at Westminster Kingsway College in St. James’ Park and saw the 12 finalist students from all over the U.K. competing for the crown. As the first ever Scottish winner of the competition, Jessica’s win was celebrated by many, and received praise from The Caterer as well as Jessica’s school, the High School of Glasgow. Even more impressively, the news was picked up by the House of Commons, where they passed a motion on Wednesday 20th March. The parliamentary Early-Day Motion will remain a permanent record of Jessica’s achievement as the 2019 winner of Springboard’s FutureChef final competition and was signed by nine members of parliament including Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West and Drew Hendry for Inverness. The Motion commends Jessica for her “high level of skill and professionalism” and also recognises the contributions of Jessica’s mentor, Jav Aziz, Executive Chef at the Ibrox Stadium. The Motion also notes how the judges praised the finalists for displaying the “most impressive” cooking skills in the history of the competition. In the 20 years since its inauguration, FutureChef has grown exponentially, and has now become a hallmark of industry prestige and the event was attended by several high-profile chefs, including Brian Turner CBE who has been the FutureChef Chairman since its inception. Read more about the FutureChef final here.