The night was hosted by renowned comedian Ian Moore, who led us through 19 awards across three categories. The evening rewarded the fantastic initiatives, unbreakable resolve and unbeatable talent of those nominated for the awards. With just under 500 people in attendance, the delicious three course meal was enjoyed by all – with halloumi and vegetable tabbouleh for the starter, Madeira chicken with roasted vegetable for the main and a raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake for dessert – all followed by coffee and petit fours. The wine – sponsored by Conviviality – flowed the entire evening, and was enjoyed by many.
The awards were divided into three categories – Promoting Careers, Attracting and Developing People, and Best Employment Practice. Each category addresses a particular issue the industry faces, aiming to create a solid bedrock for the sector to thrive.
There was a standing auction and a raffle, which included a stay at the Landmark London and a seven course meal cooked by a Springboard alumna in the comfort of their winner’s home.
Sarah Hoyle, of the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, won the award for Individual Ambassador, with Delaware North winning the Group Ambassador Award. Then came the Best Regional Initiative, which was awarded to Foxes Academy, for their initiatives to solve local issues. Finally, the Education and Industry Partnership Award was awarded to The Georgian House, for their work with educational institutions.
The Best Work Experience Awarded was awarded to the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, due to their dedication to home-grown talent. The winner of the Best Use of Digital Media to Attract Talent was Inploi, for bringing hospitality recruitment into the 21st century with their pioneering web-based system. Next came the Best Recruitment Initiative Award, which was given to Hilton Hotels for their dedication to recruiting a diverse workforce.
The Young People Award was awarded to Inspired Youth, for their tireless efforts in bridging the gap between young people and their aspirations. The winner of the Best Award Strategy is Firmdale Hotels, with their dedication to work-life balance. The winner of the Best Housekeeping Initiative Award was Bluestone National Park, for their deep-cleaning initiatives. The accolade of Best Management Strategy went to Merlin Consultancy, on behalf of Master Innholders for their fantastic blend of tradition and future trends.
Then came the Wine Awards, with the National Theatre winning for their continued improvement of their wine selection. National Theatre said: “We’re very proud, very happy with the award. All the hard work has been paying off. We’re working with our supplier to extend the wine list, with the current trends of wine – so organic, natural wines are being added to the list as we speak.”
The Best Apprenticeship Strategy was awarded to QHotels, for leading the charge on the evolution of apprenticeships. The Retention Award was given to Million Cove Hotel, for their fantastic PRP scheme, and the Community Engagement Award was given to Hilton London Bankside, for their dedication to their home, the Bankside.
Regarding their award, The Hilton Bankside said: “The Bankside is our community – and that’s what makes us successful. We’re a Bankside Hotel, so in taking care of the Bankside area, we end up stronger ourselves.”
The London Cocktail Club did particularly well last night, winning both the Best Career Progression and the Best Employer Award. The team said “we’re over the moon to be recognised for all the work we’ve been doing with Springboard in the last two years, and we’re really excited to continue to push career progression in the cocktail bar industry, for all our staff. The last two years have been leading up to here, drawing up plans to make sure that everyone that joins out business has the opportunity to progress.”
There were also two special awards this year. The Chris Beaumont Award was awarded to chef Mark Heirs, for his support of Springboard, its initiatives, and for being an overall fantastic ambassador for the charity. Finally, an award named in honour of Springboard’s own Fiona Colley, who dedicated 8 years of her life to helping people across the UK build their futures, before tragically passing away from terminal cancer earlier this year. The award was presented to Ethan Grier, a beneficiary of Springboard who has flourished since he joined our programmes.
All of this was thanks to the incredible sponsors of the evening. Novotel, for hosting the event at their wonderful hotel. The delicious food and drink – Conviviality, Cawston Press, Wenlock Spring, Bidfood, Braehead Foods, Brakes and Townhead and Country Foods. ECB also provided their wonderful team for this evening, and Critiquie for their excellent feedback services.