Springboard Blog

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.

A Fundraising Windfall at Springboard's Masked Ball

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Springboard’s yearly fundraiser, themed this year as The Masked Ball, raised a whopping £50,585 for their charitable causes on Monday 18th March, unmasking the hospitality industry’s generosity.

The evening played a leading role in Springboard’s annual fundraising and year-on-year is always a night to remember. This year’s event, with all its Venetian inspired glamour, transported guests back in time to the 15th century, with the assortment of masks around the room certainly contributing to the overall sparkle of the evening.

The evening included drinks, a delicious three course meal including Scottish smoked salmon and a rump of lamb, and entertainment including Venetian-style ‘human statues’ and aerial performers from Heartburn Entertainment.

All proceeds from the event will help to continue Springboard’s programmes, which allow people with barriers to work to gain the skills and confidence needed to access employment within the hospitality industry. Springboard’s fundraisers and events include a yearly pantomime, treks across the globe and cycle challenges from London to Paris. The guests at the Ball were lucky enough to hear three of Springboard’s most inspiring beneficiaries tell their stories and speak about how Springboard has helped them to turn their lives around.

The event was sponsored by DRPG, The Waldorf Hilton, Diageo, Bibendum, Cawston Press, London Calling, Wenlock Spring, 4degreesC, BidFood, Harvey & Brockless, John Ross Jr., Davin Foods, Fairfax London, Mitchells & Butlers, Quality Standard, Town & Country, Canapes Direct Ltd, Critiquie, Davin Foods, Groupe Le Duff, Harvey & Brockless and La Tua Pasta, all of whom contributed fantastic products and services, and helped the charity to raise funds for vital programmes.

Anne Pierce MBE, Springboard’s Chief Executive, used the occasion to remind guests of the charitable motivation behind the glamourous event. She said, “While the nature and theme of this event varies each year, the reasoning behind it always remains the same. This annual occasion is fundamental in raising funds for those who need it the most - the beneficiaries of our programmes who are supported into sustainable and meaningful employment in the hospitality industry”

To get involved for next year, or to get involved with any other of Springboard’s fundraising events, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About The Springboard Charity

Springboard helps to reduce unemployment and poverty across the UK, enabling people of all ages and backgrounds, and especially those who experience barriers to employment, achieve their career potential in hospitality, leisure and tourism.

We do this in several ways:

 * Equipping people with personal, professional and career skills, through first class range of training and education programmes.

* Connecting those who are ‘work-ready’ with employers across the UK who provide work experience placements and jobs and at the same time helping those employers attract, develop and retain talent.

* Providing unique career advice and education materials to inform and guide students and adults and their influencers about the industry.

* Working with employers, Government, employment referral agencies, educational establishments and industry bodies to promote the sector as a great place to work.

For more information about Springboard, visit: www.springboard.uk.net

Springboard announce new Chairman

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Hospitality industry charity Springboard has announced Alastair Storey as its new Chairman. He was appointed by Springboard’s Board of Trustees to take over from Stephen Moss CBE, Springboard’s Founder and Chair for the past 29 years.

The Board were keen for a high-profile industry leader to take the helm, leading Springboard into a new phase of growth and strengthening the senior team. 

A Springboard Life Patron since 2010, Alastair is Chairman of WSH, the parent company for leading hospitality brands including BaxterStorey, benugo, Portico and Caterlink. A tireless champion of the industry, he has retained the accolade of most influential person in hospitality since 2012, taking the celebrated title from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in The Caterer’s Top 100 list.

Anne Pierce, CEO of Springboard said: “We are confident that Alastair’s experience and active engagement in the hospitality industry will help Springboard achieve its ambitious goals to help young people, unemployed and disadvantaged adults into sustainable employment and careers in hospitality.”

At the same time, Springboard UK (the Charity’s trading arm) is focused on promoting the industry as a great place to work and supporting individual businesses to attract talent – and in the current climate there has never been a more critical time for this important work.

Alastair said: “Springboard provides invaluable support to our industry, attracting new talent and showcasing the endless opportunities a career in hospitality and tourism can provide.

“In these uncertain times Springboard’s mission has never been more essential. Attracting new talent is crucial to the future success of our sector, and through its work with business partners, Springboard showcases hospitality and tourism as a truly exciting sector. I am delighted to continue the fantastic work Stephen and the team have undertaken over the past 29 years.”

Alastair will build on the legacy of Stephen Moss CBE, who will move to the role of Founder and Life President. Stephen, along with other industry giants at the time such as Lord Charles Forte, built Springboard out of their combined frustration over the poor perception of the hospitality industry, the inability to attract home-grown talent and the woefully inadequate careers advice at the time.

In 1990, in the pre-internet revolution, the charity began as a drop-in Careers Centre to excite and educate young people and unemployed adults about hospitality opportunities in London. In 1997, with the appointment of Chief Executive, Anne Pierce, Springboard expanded across the UK and developed new programmes in secondary schools and for adult jobseekers and those people further away from the labour market to promote careers and encourage people into the industry. One of its flagship programmes, FutureChef, was designed to inspire young people to cook through a school cookery competition. Starting in 1999 with just 100 students participating, it is now embedded within the school curriculum and this year’s competition has engaged nearly 14,000 12 to 16 year olds with the national final taking place on Monday 18th March at Westminster Kingsway College. 

Stephen Moss, said: “At this pivotal time, I am proud to look back at what our organisation has achieved. We now offer over 60,000 careers advice and guidance sessions each year, and work with over 100 businesses to address issues surrounding HR and corporate social responsibility. Alastair will bring his unrivalled expertise and experience, continuing our hard work and supporting Springboard’s growth.”  

Anne Pierce, said: “I've worked with Stephen for over 22 years, and his immeasurable contribution, wisdom, tact and diplomacy and sheer passion has inspired everyone who has ever worked for and with Springboard. He’s been a hugely supportive Chairman and the team have benefited from his wisdom and celebrated many successes with him over the years. 

“Now we’re at a transformational point of Springboard’s evolution. With issues facing the industry including the impact of Brexit and immigration policy, Springboard’s work is elevated to a new level of importance. We’re excited to welcome Alastair to drive our mission forward as an influential leader with ambitious goals.”

Alastair joins alongside new additions to the leadership team, new Fundraising and Marketing Director, Nikki Kelly, joined from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, and new Finance & Resources Director, Danyanne Quemper joined from the SANDS Charity. Together with the existing team of outstanding professionals, they are driving forward an exciting programme of work to make a real difference to people’s lives and tangible support from the industry.