20 Years of Amazing People EBP South celebrated working with incredible schools, business, volunteers, and young people as well as their 20th year at the Amazing People Awards at The Solent Hotel and Spa. 16 amazing people received awards across three categories: schools, businesses, volunteers and young people. The young people stole the show with their inspirational achievements. Each young person’s individual story showcased the benefit of the programmes provided by EBP South. By given the right opportunities at the right time young people can excel. Cath Longhurst, EBP South CEO said ‘The Amazing People Awards is our opportunity to recognise the huge contribution that businesses make to schools by inspiring young people and helping to prepare them for the world of work. Last year we recorded more than 78,000 business volunteer hours across schools in the Solent benefiting more than 17,000 young people.' 'It has been heart-warming to hear some of the stories about how encounters with business have really inspired and motivated young people. We hope to see even more businesses involved in the future.’ The ceremony was filled with over 150 people that give up their time or sponsor programmes to help young people aged 4 – 16. Winners and nominees spoke with passion that the key reason they volunteer is that want to help the next generation achieve their full potential. One highlight of the evening was the presentation to Gloria Vessey who was awarded with the Long-standing commitment to education business partnerships. The award was a complete surprise and Gloria didn’t realise she had won until part way through the synopsis of the award winner. Gloria said ‘I was listening, and I thought, oh gosh, someone is working very hard. Then [the presenter] mentioned the monkey and I realised it was me.’ ‘I’m shocked, it takes a lot to render a barrister speechless but [EBP South] managed it. I’m just so stunned. EBP South do such a huge amount it’s a pleasure and it’s an absolute joy working with EBP South. I love going to the schools and talking to the children.’ There was a sense of pride throughout the ceremony with many expressing their passion for the programmes that link young people and schools with businesses. The categories and winners were: Aeroflex won amazing business in a long-term partnership with a school or college - Sponsored by BAE Systems Maritime Services Vue Cinemas won amazing business involved in hosting or participating in work experience - Sponsored by Southampton City Council The Polygon School won amazing Education Establishment who promote careers education - Sponsored by IBM BAE Systems Maritime Services won amazing business promoting careers in STEM - Sponsored by Portsmouth Water John Thornhill, Wartsila won amazing business volunteer - Sponsored by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce The Solent Hotel & Spa won amazing SME business - outstanding contribution to education business partnerships - Sponsored by University of Portsmouth Business School. Mountjoy won amazing large business - outstanding contribution to education business partnerships - Sponsored by Natwest BAE Systems Maritime Services won amazing business supporting a mentoring programme - Sponsored by Portsmouth City Council George Arnold from Horndean Technology College and Arron Adamson from The Polygon School won amazing student (Work Experience) - Sponsored by Wartsila Paige Curtis from The Cowplain Community School, Jordan Bayliss-Hamilton from King Richard School, Zak Blackford from The Cowplain School, and Kennedy Bull from Miltoncross Community School won amazing Student (Mentoring) - Sponsored by Wartsila Keiran O'Toole from Portsmouth College/Rock Clothing won amazing student (Entrepreneurial) - Sponsored by EBP South Gloria Vessey won long standing commitment to education business partnerships. This year had the highest number of entries for the EBP South’s prestigious Amazing People Awards. Businesses, schools and individuals were shortlisted and judged by independent judges with the winners announced on the night. The Amazing People Awards ended with the celebration of EBP South’s 20th birthday.