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I would be happy to dedicate my whole column to the awards ceremony in January - however the event seems to have ample coverage already within The Overview!

To briefly summarise though, it was a lovely celebration and a wonderful opportunity to recognise and reward the highest achieving learners. We were also delighted to welcome Harry Murray, Chairman of Lucknam Park Hotel, as HOSPA’s new president who delivered a warm opening speech and went on to present the awards - so, many thanks to Harry. We are grateful to Peter Jones MBE, Chairman of the HOSPA Professional Development Committee for chairing a lively debate prior to the awards ceremony itself. Thank you also to Martin Christian-Kent from People 1st and Hugo McNestry from Trothco Ltd, as well as Ally Northfield, Head of the HOSPA Revenue Management Community and Director of Revenue by Design for discussing the educational needs and recruitment of hospitality finance and revenue managers. It really was an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Our fabulous industry charity ‘Springboard’ has featured a fair bit in my life just recently. In January, I attended an annual event where they carefully choose someone - who has directly benefitted from Springboard’s great work - to speak to an audience of influential people within the industry. These courageous individuals who stand up in front of a roomful of people (many more than twice their age) always have a story to tell and are typically from a background that has not been easy or straightforward. But, with the support of Springboard and the wider hospitality industry, they have been able to turn their lives around to become confident enough to talk inspiringly about their experiences and the rewards of working in hospitality. 

Some of the same faces were next seen on stage at Aladdin - Springboard’s hilarious pantomime - this year in London’s West End. It was as entertaining as expected and a great way to contribute and support Springboard. 

This month sees another meeting of the GEMS steering group. GEMS is Springboard’s mentoring programme, which we help to sponsor. HOSPA members are ideally placed to lend a helping hand to the next generation of hospitality professionals, by becoming a Springboard GEMS mentor. Now in its 10th year, GEMS is a UK-wide programme dedicated to supporting degree-level hospitality students - or ‘mentees’ - in finding their feet within the industry. There are many benefits to being a mentor, including: 

• A sense of accomplishment • Having a positive impact on a young person’s life • Developing your own leadership and coaching skills • Broadening your network and establishing relationships with other mentors and mentees

Not only this, but you will ensure the industry is filled with highly-skilled, well-equipped professionals that will keep the talent pipeline flowing. If you would like to become a mentor, either get in touch with me or directly at: industry.springboard.uk.net/gems


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