Last week, the hospitality industry came together for an unforgettable night of celebration and recognition at the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2023, held at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf and hosted by the broadcaster and journalist Gordon Smart.
Held and organised by the hospitality charity Springboard, the awards celebrated the achievements of the hospitality industry’s most talented individuals and companies, highlighting the industry’s most inspiring and resourceful leaders, who have shown innovation and creativity in the face of unprecedented challenges.
The 48 shortlisted hospitality businesses and individuals competed for the prestigious awards across 16 categories, with winners selected by a panel of industry experts including Ronan Harte, CEO of BaxterStorey, Diago Masciaga, and more.
One of the most heart-warming moments of the night was the announcement of Toby Markham from London as the winner of the Fiona Colley Trainee of the Year Award. Toby has cerebral palsy and had struggled to find employment as a result. Upon completing Springboard’s Galvin’s Chance programme, Toby landed his first-ever job within the sector.
Discussing his win, Toby said: “Winning this award means a lot to me as it shows I have overcome the barriers I have, which is cerebral palsy and a learning difficulty. I was really proud to get my first ever paid job, and now to win this award. I hope this can inspire and show other people with similar barriers to me that they can work and do well.”
Other winners on the night included The Crumbs Project, which was crowned victor for its work within diversity, equality, and inclusion as well as disability. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons took home awards for sustainable business and best employer. Eden Hotel Collection secured an award for Best Training Programme, and Brewhouse and Kitchen took home an award for Best Apprenticeship Strategy.
Speaking about the awards, Chris Gamm, CEO of Springboard, said, “The Springboard Awards for Excellence 2023 provide a fantastic opp ortunity for the industry to come together and showcase the immense talent and successes of its top businesses. The Awards recognise the hard work and dedication of hospitality superstars and demonstrate the sector’s resilience, creativity, and innovation.
“We are proud to celebrate the individuals and companies that have made an outstanding contribution to the hospitality industry – particularly Toby, whose incredible story and achievement serves as a reminder of the transformative impact that the hospitality industry can have on people’s lives.”