Gemma Storey and Fatmata Bangura at the Edge Hotel School

Movers and Shakers: Edge Hotel School students win Savoy Education Trust scholarships

Friday, December 7, 2012
5.13 PM

TWO students from Colchester have each been awarded a £3,000 scholarship from the Savoy Educational Trust as they begin their studies at the pioneering Edge Hotel School on the University of Essex’s Colchester campus, the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a fully operational commercial hotel.

Gemma Storey, 18, and Fatmata Bangura, 36, are both working towards a Foundation degree in Hotel Management, combining academic study with practical experience of working in the newly refurbished Wivenhoe House hotel.

Gemma showed early determination to succeed when, as a child, she won a gold medal in a gymnastics competition in Malta. Since then she has finished her A levels while working as a shop assistant and has since worked for a wedding organiser to learn about working in the hospitality industry.

She said: “Organising weddings taught me a lot about what is involved in providing excellent customer service in a busy and stressful environment.

“Winning this scholarship will transform my experience by helping fund my travel to college since I need to live at home while I am studying. It will also help me to buy a laptop which I’ll use for my academic work and to learn how hotels are using social media.

“I’m excited about the opportunities I’ll have at the Edge Hotel School to learn about different types of hotel environments because many of the hotel rooms at Wivenhoe House are individually designed and furnished by different hoteliers.”

Fatmata previously studied interior design, but now wants to work in the hospitality sector. She said: “I know how it feels to be both satisfied and unsatisfied with service quality and I want to provide an experience that exceeds customer expectations with excellent customer service.

“As a single mother and mature student, I have commitments in addition to my studies and I am under significant financial pressures, so this scholarship will really help me work towards my ambition of a career in hospitality.”

The Savoy Educational Trust scholarships are designed to support talented students and help encourage the outstanding hospitality managers of the future. The scholarships were awarded by a panel based on a combination of criteria from the application form and supporting statement.

Alan Jenkins, principal of the Edge Hotel School, said: “With their impressive reputation built over 50 years of developing education, training and qualifications in the hospitality sector, the support of Savoy Educational Trust is a significant endorsement of our mission based on a model of ‘learning-by-doing’. We are honoured to be working with them.”

Edge Hotel School students achieve a degree awarded by the University of Essex while working at the historic Wivenhoe House, a luxury hotel and restaurant, recently restored at a cost of £10 million. Students have the option of earning a one-year Foundation degree or a BA Honours degree in two years. The curriculum has been developed in collaboration with some of the sector’s leading employers and well-known industry figures including Michelin star chefs and 4 and 5 star hoteliers.

: : LONG-serving employee John Ibbetson has retired after 45 years with Stowmarket-based malt firm Muntons.

During the course of his time at Muntons, John held a number of roles, starting at its Bridlington maltings, then called Edward Fison Ltd, in 1967.

His first role was as a laboratory assistant working in the busy maltings lab where barley samples were tested prior to delivery. After 15 years working at the Bridlington site, in 1982 John transferred to Suffolk to work at Muntons’ Stowmarket headquarters. He was initially based in the laboratory and then moved into homebrew production, where he worked up up to his retirement, 30 years on.

At 45 years, John was one of Muntons’ longest serving staff and the event was celebrated in a farewell gathering of his friends and colleagues on his final day with the company. He thanked everyone.

“Over my years at Muntons I have been people come and go. I have always enjoyed the company of those I work with and it is the people that I will miss,” he said.

Muntons thanked him for his commitment to the company and wished him a happy retirement.

: : BARCLAYS has bolstered its wealth and investment management offering in Essex with a new appointment.

Andrew Crossley has taken up the post of private banker and will work with the team in Essex to provide new and existing clients with the full range of bespoke wealth and investment management solutions.

Prior to joining Barclays, Andrew spent 15 years at Coutts & Co where, since 2008 he had worked as a private banker, looking after a portfolio of around 400 UK resident and domiciled clients.

Paul Field, regional director for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in Kent, East Sussex and Essex, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Andrew to the Barclays team in Essex.

“Our South East presence is continually growing and gaining new clients, and Andrew’s depth of experience will no doubt be a huge support in servicing this growth.”

Andrew said: “I am thrilled to be joining Barclays during such a period of growth for the Essex and London areas. I look forward to working with my new team to help local high net worth individuals achieve their financial goals.”

: : A SUFFOLK charity which promotes equality and fights discrimination has a new chairman to support it in its work.

Chris Cumberbatch has just been selected as the chairman of trustees for the Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) and has promised to “support this great campaigning and educational organisation in its essential work of making our society fairer for all”.

Chris, 37, is a solicitor and works as a trust and estate practitioner in a Woodbridge-based law firm. He was previously ISCRE’s company secretary and vice-chairman and has overseen many of the strategic changes to ISCRE over the last five years. He has given seminars on charity law to trustees and parish councils and has trained in charity management. He is also a trained mentor at his local school and a tenor in the Ipswich Community Gospel Choir.

On becoming ISCRE’s chairman, Chris paid tribute to his predecessor, Hamil Clarke MBE.

“Without Hamil’s humour and constant grace, no matter how difficult the matter before us as a board, we would have struggled to have overcome some of the very real challenges that ISCRE has faced over recent years. In addition, Hamil’s experience in local government has bridged the gap that exists between the private and public sector and offered us important insights and practical help,” he said. “He has been a fine custodian of the best of ISCRE’s values”.

With ISCRE fighting back after suffering Government grant cuts over the past year or so, Chris recognises that further hurdles lie ahead for charities like ISCRE but is passionate in his belief that ISCRE’s work improves the lives of all Suffolk’s citizens.

“I’m of British, Trinidadian and Swiss heritage and believe that tolerance and open mindedness between cultures, which is what ISCRE fights for, is a mark of what makes Britain a great country.

“I’m happily settled in Suffolk and am looking forward to taking my son, Ipswich born and proud, to his first Town match.”

: : A LEADING grower and supplier of fresh vegetables throughout East Anglia has made two appointments to its commercial team.

Mark Phillips joined Produce World, based at Isleham in Cambridgeshire, earlier in the year as sales and marketing director, having previously held senior positions at Wellness Foods and Dairy Crest/Unigate. Mark has considerable experience in the FMCG sector and his most recent role was a consultant at Pork Farms, supporting its commercial team.

Andrew Ovens has also recently joined the Produce World commercial team as marketing director. Andrew has more than 20 years’ experience within the food market, specialising in marketing, sales and new product developments. His previous job was at S&A Foods working as marketing and new product development manager and prior to this he was group marketing manager for New Covent Garden.

William Burgess, chief executive at Produce World said: “Mark and Andrew’s appointments are part of the process of re-structuring our commercial function to best meet the needs of our customers and consumers. One of Produce World’s USPs is the variety of fresh vegetables that we grow and supply into retail. This is our point of difference from our competitors therefore we place huge importance on category insight and innovation. Mark and Andrew both have exceptional experience and we welcome them to the Produce World team.”