Every year, the Purple Umbrella Awards, hosted by BIIAB Centre Umbrella Training, celebrate apprentices from across the UK’s hospitality industry. This year’s awards evening took place on 7 September 2023.
In this blog post, our Senior Relationship Manager, Melody Coomes, reflects on a memorable night of celebration.
A Night to Remember
The Purple Umbrella Awards 2023, hosted by Umbrella Training, was an evening of glitz and glamour, celebrating outstanding achievement in hospitality. The team at BIIAB were particularly excited as we were the headline sponsor.
Held at BAFTA 195, the British Academy of Film and Television in London, it was a night to be remembered and one that united industry professionals. With an extensive range of award categories, from top chefs and bartenders to exceptional apprentices and managers, the awards recognised excellence across the hospitality industry.
We couldn’t believe we were at the home of the BAFTAs. There were pictures all around the building of famous faces collecting their awards and a beautiful cabinet full of gold shiny faces looking at us. We were treated to some delicious treats at the welcome reception, including mini burgers, sumptuous salmon and a glass of fizz.
As we sat down for the awards ceremony, there was an electric atmosphere and excitement for the award winners to be announced. The heart of the event lies in its nominees and winners. Each nominee had a compelling story, and the winners serve as shining examples of what can be achieved with hard work, dedication and passion. We were smiling from ear to ear as we heard the stories being shared.
Each nominee had a compelling story, and the winners serve as shining examples of what can be achieved with hard work, dedication and passion.
Throughout the awards, we also heard from industry leaders, such as Adele Oxberry, CEO and Founder of Umbrella Training, whose passion for hospitality training was infectious. We also heard from our very own Chief Executive of BIIAB, Paul Eeles, who gave a passionate speech about the importance of the hospitality sector.
A winner who particularly stood out was Piers Zangana, Director of Susa Comms, who received the evening’s Special Award. Piers has used his Woman.Life.Freedom campaign video to raise awareness of human rights violations in Iran, a topic he also spoke about in his acceptance speech. Listening to his speech sent shivers tingling down my spine.
As sponsors of the Best Level 3 Apprentice category, we were also delighted to see Russell Johnson from the Lime Wood Hotel take home this award.
The Purple Umbrella Awards provide an ideal platform for professionals to connect, share ideas, and explore collaborations. These connections are instrumental in propelling the industry forward. Attending this year’s awards left me inspired and with plenty of admiration for those working hard in the hospitality sector.
Let’s draw inspiration from these outstanding individuals and continue to elevate the industry.