Helen Anne Smith has been awarded CAMRA’s top campaigning award at the organisation’s Members’ Weekend and Conference for their work to create a more diverse and inclusive industry.
Helen’s nomination spoke of their long list of achievements. As well as being a CAMRA contributor featured on the Learn & Discover platform and the Pubs. Pints. People. podcast, they are one of the founders of the Burum Collective – an online publication for, and by, those working in hospitality.
In response to the outpouring of stories about misogyny, racism, and mistreatment of workers within the beer and hospitality industries, they used their platform to organise the Common Ground Conference, where hundreds of attendees heard from industry leading speakers about improving hospitality workers’ rights.
They played a part in industry initiatives like “Hospitality Combine” and the “Brave Noise” brewing collaboration – both of which worked towards improving standards for those in the pub and beer sector.
Helen also undertook a three-month Wayfinder residency with Cloudwater Brewery which provided training and funds for the launch of an education hub, providing free educational content for hospitality workers.
They then partnered with the U.S. based non-profit Beer Kulture to host a jobs forum that aimed to open up UK drinks industry job listings to a more diverse group of candidates.
The Beer Kulture X Burum Collective Jobs Board now has a funded administrator and is a resource that helps connect candidates from marginalised groups to employers within the drinks industry, as well as connecting industry professionals to opportunities such as training or mentorships.
Their passion for building more diverse and inclusive spaces, making drinks education accessible, and empowering the whole industry was evident in their nomination, and the judging panel was impressed by their dedication and the sheer amount of work they had undertaken.
CAMRA Awards Director Laura Emson said:
“Helen was a clear winner, even in this year’s strong field of nominations. Their campaigning, both on- and off-line, is empowering the industry to be more inclusive and they have been an integral part of a huge number of initiatives.
“It’s a pleasure to formally recognise their hard work and dedication to making sure that beer and cider are open to everyone.
“This Campaigner of the Year Award is a testament to the positive impact that Helen has had on the industry, and I look forward to seeing their work in the years to come.”