Springboard Charity’s 2016 Awards for Excellence

Two young men from Stranraer have won the first Fiona Colley Award at The Springboard Charity’s 2016 Awards for Excellence.

Connor Pomroy (18) and Kai Palmer (17) were winners of the award that celebrates people from Scotland who have completed a Springboard programme, overcome adversity and taken their opportunity to move forward in life. Both had undertaken and successfully completed Springboard’s ten week Let’s Cook programme. Let’s Cook gave them an opportunity to step up to a challenge and take a new direction in life.

By their own admission school had been challenging, with issues around authority, anger management and bullying. Let’s Cook was not plain sailing, but it was a testament to the commitment, courage and trust of Connor and Kai that they worked hard, completed the programme and have gone on to college and employment. They both say that the Springboard programme ‘changed their lives’, as without it they wouldn’t be in the positive position they are now, with so much to look forward to.

On being presented with the award Kai Palmer said ‘I feel proud that I’ve won this award. If it wasn’t for Springboard and Fiona I wouldn’t be in this position. Fiona changed my mind on cooking completely and its now my passion’.

Connor Pomroy said ‘I was shocked and happy to win this prestigious award. I’m thankful to Fiona for giving me this opportunity and it gives me drive and hope for the future’.

They worked with chef Douglas Lisi, industry representatives and Springboard trainers to hone their practical cookery skills, achieve industry qualifications, gain insight into the breadth of hospitality employment opportunities and work on their confidence, self-esteem and personal motivation.

With the support of Springboard, both have overcome personal challenges and gone on to undertake Professional Cookery levels 1 & 2 at Dumfries and Galloway College. Kai also has a part time job at Lando’s Italian restaurant in Stranraer.

As part of the award Connor and Kai receive a working scholarship to suit their individual aspirations and personal interests, with both looking forward to working with top chefs as part of that arrangement – a priceless opportunity to boost their career prospects.

Connor and Kai attended the glittering awards ceremony in London and were celebrated by hundreds of industry leaders and former Olympic and World Champion swimmer Mark Foster, who is a great supporter of young people.

The Springboard Charity helps young people achieve their potential; nurtures unemployed adults into work; and helps alleviate poverty by supporting people into employment within the UK hospitality, leisure, tourism and other related sectors.

About The Springboard Charity

The Springboard Charity helps young people achieve their potential, nurtures unemployed adults into work and helps alleviate poverty by supporting people into employment within the UK hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.

Springboard provides a range of opportunities for sustainable employment and vibrant careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism through:

    • Free specialist careers information

    • Taster work experience opportunities

    • Development programmes to help maximise the chances of obtaining sustainable employment

    • Pre-employment and mentoring programmes

    • Educational teaching resources, information, support and student activities to teachers in schools and colleges


Springboard equips people with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential.  Springboard also works closely with the industry to help attract more talent and address skills shortages. In doing so, it has the support of over 180 different industry establishments and suppliers.

For more information about Springboard, visit: www.springboard.uk.net

Or contact: Louise Routh – 0207 921 0428 – lousier@springboarduk.org.uk

                     Alex Fenton - 0207 921 0428 – alexf@springboarduk.org.uk

Picture above: Dr Anne Pierce MBE – CEO Springboard, Kai Palmer, Mark Foster, Connor Pomroy, Mark Colley and  D Moss CBE – Chairman Springboard.