About the Acorn Scholarship
The Acorn Scholarship is an independent award created by previous winners of Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Acorn Awards. It was established in 2000 by senior figures from within the industry to give something back and to give opportunity to one up and coming star from within hospitality each year.
The Acorn Scholarship was set up to help create industry leaders of the future who would go on to win Acorn Awards and potentially be the Catey award winners of the future.
So far, the Scholarship has changed the lives (and careers) of seven winners and helped two of these winners achieve Acorn Awards.
The objective of the Acorn Scholarship is to seek out talented individuals within the catering and hospitality industry and help them realise their ambitions and reward their determination.
The Acorn Scholarship is awarded to someone with passion and potential. They may still be a student, or already have achieved a junior management position, but they will be at that point in their career when winning this scholarship will make a real difference, reinforcing their desire to succeed in this industry and providing a cash contribution to an important professional development opportunity.
Previous winners have included a restaurant manager, a sous chef, nutritionist, and catering manager.
How the application winning process works
Annually in September, applications are sought from all sectors of the industry via UK Schools of Hospitality, Universities, and trade press and through industry websites and mailouts. The Acorn Scholarship is a self-nominating award (although support from employers is essential) and although there is no age restriction for application, the Scholarship looks to find up and coming talent.
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online and are asked questions about their career.
Applicant questions for 2009:
- What made you choose a career in the hospitality industry?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
- How are you going to get there?
- What is your ultimate career ambition?
- What difference would winning the Acorn Scholarship make and how would you use it?
- How would you use the Acorn Scholarship to give something back to the industry?
The committee consistently receives well over 100 applications for one prized Scholarship. A shortlist of 10 is created and they are invited to do a brief presentation to the panel of industry judges. The judging panel select the winner, who is awarded the accolade at a winners’ lunch (sponsored by Michael Caines and Abode Hotels, with commemorative winner’s plates provided by Villeroy & Boch).
Each finalist is assigned a patron as a mentor and the winner enjoys developmental prizes and access to the Acorn network.
- A £2,000 bursary to use for some form of professional development
- £1,500 worth of learnpurple training, plus monthly coaching sessions with learnpurple MD Jane Sunley
- A trip to Villeroy and Boch in Luxembourg
- A development lunch where they will meet with leading industry figures
- A designated ‘mentor’ who acts as their guide during their year as a scholar including drawing up a flexible training plan
- Free Springboard UK Ambassador training
Our panel of judges is represented by the top people from leading hospitality organisations including Abode Hotels, Malmaison, Hotel du Vin, Ego Restaurants, Whitbread, Villeroy & Boch, Baxterstorey, Peach Pub Company and Caterer and Hotelkeeper.
Our four existing Patrons are Michael Caines (Abode), Nick Green (Villeroy & Boch), Sean Wheeler (Malmaison), Jane Sunley (LearnPurple) and Claire Sullivan (Unilever Foodsolutions).