Springboard Blog

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.

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.