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Olympic Park’s best apprentices and businesses crowned at East Works Awards

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 November 2018

Winner of entrepeneur of the year, Johnson Wong, with Charles Armstrong, founder of The Trampery. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

Winner of entrepeneur of the year, Johnson Wong, with Charles Armstrong, founder of The Trampery. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

Archant

The Olympic Park’s best employers and apprentices were recognised at an awards ceremony.

Winners of the making it happen individual award, who all took part in the East Works programme. Picture: In-Press Photography LtdWinners of the making it happen individual award, who all took part in the East Works programme. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

The East Works Awards celebrated those who’d taken part in the East Works Programme, which matches employers with apprentices to fill skills gaps and provide opportunities for young people in east London.

Thursday’s awards at Here East were hosted by the London Legacy Development Corporation, the company which manages the Olympic Park.

The evening was compered by LLDC’s Sonita Alleyne and Jone da Cruz, a former apprentice on the park who worked his way up to site manager for construction company, Taylor Wimpey. Last year, Jone, who lives in Hackney, won the ambassador of the year award in recognition of the work he’s done to promote apprenticeships.

He said: “When I was at school, apprenticeships were not promoted as much, but they made such a difference in my life. When I go into schools now, the reaction is very positive. They realise the importance of experience, not just qualifications.”

List of winners

Apprentice of the Year – Jack Connolly

Individual Achievement of the Year – Ricky Quy

Intern/Trainee of the Year – Michelle Nyachuru

Employer of the Year – The Camden Society at Union Kitchen Café, Timber Lodge

Innovation of the Year – STEP

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion – The Camden Society at Union Kitchen Café, Timber Lodge

LLDC Ambassador Award – Lianne Peterkin

Entrepreneur of the Year – Johnson Wong

Education Partnership of the Year – Class Of Your Own

Making It Happen Partnership of the Year – Flipside

Employer of the year went to The Camden Society at Unity Kitchen Cafe. Almost two thirds of the workforce at the cafe are from neighbouring boroughs, and the society’s apprenticeship programme focuses on supporting people with learning difficulties.

Fashion designer Johnson Wong won entrepreneur of the year, after founding his business, AFTER:WORK, which takes used protective equipment destined for landfill and refashions it into lifestyle products. Johnson, who took part in the Echo ++ Fashion Accelerator programme and studied at the University of the Arts, was recgonised for the work he’s done in reducing the amount of personal protective equpiment being destroyed.

Intern of the year went to Michelle Nyachuru, a design intern at tech company Made by Many, and the individual achievement award was given to Ricky Quy, who works as a cleaning operative on the park.

Almost 200 making it happen awards were given to the individuals who’d taken part in the East Works programme, and there were awards presented by Geoff Thompson, chair of the University of East London, Newham’s deputy mayor, Charlene McLean, and LLDC’s Paul Brickell.

The ceremony was opened with a performance from Kloe Dean, Myself UK Dance Company. Picture: In-Press Photography LtdThe ceremony was opened with a performance from Kloe Dean, Myself UK Dance Company. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

He said: “This year’s awards have recognised a particularly outstanding group of young people and employers. It shows how creating opportunities for young people and working with employers to address skills gaps is at the heart of what we’re delivering on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Geoff Thompson, chair of University of East London and LLDC board member. Picture: In-Press Photography LtdGeoff Thompson, chair of University of East London and LLDC board member. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

LLDC's Paul Brickell with Lianne Peterkin, winner of ambassador of the year. Picture: In-Press Photography LtdLLDC's Paul Brickell with Lianne Peterkin, winner of ambassador of the year. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

Hosts Sonita Alleyne and Jone da Cruz, a former East Works apprentice. Picture: In-Press Photography LtdHosts Sonita Alleyne and Jone da Cruz, a former East Works apprentice. Picture: In-Press Photography Ltd

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