Our Annual Awards for Achievement took place on Thursday 17thNovember at the stunning Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge. The event celebrates the impressive achievements of our staff, clients, supporters and corporate and local partners across the country. It also serves as a humbling reminder of the extraordinary journeys that many of our clients have been on. The Awards are a great opportunity to bring together those who have contributed to the work of Tomorrow’s People over the last year.
Tomorrow’s People Chief Executive, Martin Brookes, opened the event with a speech highlighting the key achievements of the organisation and thanking staff for their dedication to their work.
The event was presented by the hugely charismatic, award winning journalist and broadcaster, Steve McKenna. He was joined on stage by basketball player for the London Lions, Joe Ikhinmwin. Joe gave an emotional and inspiring talk on his life before becoming a sports star, and honestly described the barriers he had to overcome to get to where he is. It was an absolute pleasure to have him there to hand out the awards to our winners.
The first award to be presented was the Corporate Partner of the Year Award. This went to Telereal Trillium, who have supported Tomorrow’s People for five years, both through funding and offering training sessions to our clients.
Local Partner of the Year was given to Eventcover, a company that provides training for various levels of NVQs and covers all aspects of event support. Since Tomorrow’s People and Eventcover started working together in 2015 there have been 45 accredited Level Two certificates and 15 Level One certificates among our clients.
The School Achiever of the Year Award was shared between Dominika Patrylak and Louise Coyle, both from London. Dominika came to the UK from Poland and struggled with her self-confidence. Since taking part on the ThinkForward programme, Dominika has passed her A-Level Law and Business and is now about to embark on her second year at University, where she is completing a LLB Law Degree. Louise grew up in care and struggled with her schoolwork and relationships. Since being on the ThinkForward programme she has achieved outstanding GCSE results and has gone to College to study Animal Care.
Young Achiever of the Year went to Lucy Marsons, from Lowestoft, and Becky McDonald, from Blyth. Lucy has bravely overcome her anxiety and mental health issues to take on full-time work in an exclusive hotel and restaurant. Becky has also faced mental health issues and a difficult personal life. With help from Tomorrow’s People, Becky has built up her qualifications and is now doing an apprenticeship with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS.
Stephen Swift and David Trebble, from Bath, both received the Adult Achiever of the Year Award. Stephen grew up in care and became involved in gang culture from a young age. He lived his life going in and out of prison. Since enrolling on our National Careers Service programme, Stephen has secured a bank worker position and is a permanent member of the Premier Care team as an outreach worker, looking after 16-24 year olds who have left care and have no family support.
David struggles with a thyroid condition, which has side effects such as hyperactivity and involuntary shaking. It proved difficult for him to find employment and he ended up homeless. David’s advisers worked with him to improve his CV and interview skills and he is now happily working at a bakery in Bath.
There were two surprise awards at the end of the evening. The first, Corporate Innovator of the Year, went to Three for their involvement in co-designing and managing a hugely successful industry focused skills development and work placement programme.
Finally, Staff Member of the Year went to Scott Wight, our Community Liaison Co-ordinator in Galashiels, for his dedication to helping local young people and his constant willingness to go the extra mile for his clients.
Kate Bolsover, our Chairwoman, gave some final words thanking guests for their support. We look forward to continuing to empower people to build the skills and confidence they need to move into and succeed in the workplace over the next year.