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Springboard Annual GEM Awards 2021

2 Dec 2021

Springboard’s Annual GEM Awards took place on Thursday 25th November at The Grand Hotel, Seaburn. The evening was hosted by Frankie Francis, from Frankie and The Heartstrings.

The Springboard GEM Awards pays tribute to the hard work of our learners, employers, staff and supporting partners. 

Springboard aims to support the development of sustainable communities where people have the skills they need for work and life…and it’s that support and those people we celebrate at The GEM Awards. Staff, employers and most importantly, learners take their place in the limelight and receive deserved recognition for all their efforts.

Frankie Francis is a musician and broadcaster from Sunderland. His band Frankie & The Heartstrings have enjoyed international success and have recorded three critically acclaimed albums to date with chart success. Frankie has worked with award winning music producers like Bernard Butler and Edwyn Collins plus toured the globe extensively appearing many times on the festival circuit and in support of many household names such as Florence & The Machine, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Vaccines, The Cribs, Primal Scream and many more. Currently Frankie is enjoying a career in broadcasting with his own show weekdays on digital new music station Amazing Radio and the PA announcer at his beloved Sunderland AFC.

This year we had entertainment from Lee Shillito. Lee is our

Hospitality and Catering tutor here at Springboard. Alongside his successful career as a chef, he has also been a professional singer for the last ten years. He is a classically trained opera singer. He has performed in Phantom of the Opera, various pantomimes, weddings and funerals, and has also worked alongside Opera Sunderland. 

The winners and runner ups can be seen below:

Employer of the Year

Winner: St Marks Nursing Home

Runner Up: Team RH Fitness

Employer Nominated Learner of the Year:

Winner: Kairo Pearson

Runner Up: Nathan Collier

Supporting Partner of the Year:

Winner: Debut Design

Runner Up: Southmoor Academy

Apprentice of the Year:

Winner: Rebecca Casey

Runner Up: Faith Hall

Staff Member of the Year

Winner: Andrea Thompson

Runner Up: Peter Raine

Northumbria Police Community Hero Award

The Community Hero award is designed to give reward and recognition to persons who are examples of outstanding kindness, inspiration and positivity within the local community.

Winner: Gary Stubbs

Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Thomas Stanness

Runner Ups: Kieron Garthwaite and Lucy Cadman

Kickstarter of the Year

Winner: Ren Nkomo

Study Programme Learner of the Year

Winner: Lewis Currer

Runner Up: Katrina Anderson

Social Enterprise/Durham Works Learner

Winner: Leon Bates

Runner Up: Katie Robinson

Adult of the Year

Winner: Kelly Bushell

Runner Up: Ebony Reeves

Maths and English Learner of the Year

Winner: Courtney Thirkle

Runner Up: Tye Wandless

Springboard Futures Learner of the Year, this award is in memory of Gary Stubbs

Winner: Sean Hutchinson

Overall Learner of the Year

Winner: Adam Bell

Runner Up: Alicia Bywater


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