They’re back for the third year running, with a new and improved format. This year IPSE welcomes QA as headline partner for the awards, and it’s set to be the best year yet. As was the case last year, there are two categories – the Aspire category for those aged between 18 and 23, and the Inspire category for those aged 24 and above – in order to fully represent the breadth and scope of freelancing in the UK.
The finalists are profiled in full in this article: all 10 finalists in the Inspire category and all five finalists in the Aspire category. They attended a judging day event in London on 10 May. This was held at the fantastic Metal Box Factory Club Workspace venue near to London Bridge, where the below photos were taken, and where they presented to the judging panel.
At a glittering awards ceremony in London on 9th June, the winners and runners-up will be announced. The winner of the Inspire category, and Freelancer of the Year 2016, will receive a £5,000 prize, while the winner of the Aspire category, and Young Freelancer of the Year 2016, will receive a £3,000 prize. There will also be two runners-up in the Inspire category who will each receive £2,500.
As our cover clearly states, it’s a time when we should be congratulating this sector of the workforce and encouraging them towards further growth – something IPSE will continue to support.
"We are delighted to be the new headline partner of the Awards this year. They represent a fantastic incentive to encourage and praise inspiring freelancers in the UK. We very much look forward to the Awards ceremony in June to crown the winners, and following the event, providing them with additional support to develop their skills even further, to help them to stay at the top of their game."
- Stuart Martin, Director at QA
Katy Carlisle – The Wheel Exists
Katy runs ‘The Wheel Exists’ - a web design company. She creates a modern, professional and mobile-friendly online presence for freelancers, start-ups and third sector organisations – groups which may not usually have access to such a service. She even provides at least one organisation per year with pro bono support, the most recent cause being a campaign to reduce youth violence. Katy specialises in making web design easy to understand, and she also delivers training for people to do it themselves.
Steve Folland – Video Editor
Steve is a video/audio editor, scriptwriter and voiceover artist. With the help of other freelance animators and videographers, Steve creates a bespoke concept for each client, helping brands make a name for themselves. His diverse range of clients spans the BBC and M&S, to universities and new start-ups. Steve’s podcast, ‘Being Freelance’, was started in order to help other freelancers and now receives sponsorship. He’s also regularly invited to host events and give inspirational talks to budding young freelancers.
Gary Howard – Complete Forensics
Gary is a qualified crime scene manager and investigator, helping young people get an insight into the real world of CSI and Forensic Science. He first decided to set up his business after seeing a disparity between the skills young people have when leaving education and the skills they need in Science. His work encourages people to get into Forensic Science and the Science sector as a whole. His company is going from strength to strength, with the hope to soon start franchising internationally.
Richard Jeffs - FreelanceDiary
Richard founded FreelanceDiary, a free global website and app which aims to transform the recruitment process for freelancers and make high agency fees a thing of the past. The website transforms freelancers’ availability into opportunity – meaning clients can instantly find and book available talent. Richard left a successful TV career, including working on Panorama and Watchdog, to follow his passion of improving the freelancing sector. He launched his business with no prior experience, then secured funding allowing FreelanceDiary to grow.
Karen Kay – Pink Ink Ltd.
Karen works as a freelance journalist, copywriter and media trainer. At 22, she was appointed Fashion Editor at the Daily Mirror, but when a new editor instigated redundancies in 1994, she went freelance. She has contributed to the Observer, Daily Mail, Grazia and many other national publications, and as Fashion & Lifestyle Correspondent at Sky News. She appears regularly on BBC Radio 4, Newsnight, Sky News, BBC Radio 2 and LBC. Alongside editorial work, Karen uses her expertise to run a media training business.
Fraser Lawson – Freelancer Drilling Engineer
Fraser is a freelance Drilling Engineer working in the Oil and Gas industry. His business involves engineering and designing oil and gas wells in different environments across the globe. His 28 year business has been through some turbulent times, but has afforded his family an enviable standard of living - though not without a great deal of commitment to the business. With a barrel of knowledge and experience behind him, he wants to pass the torch on to the next generation of drilling engineers.
Mercy Obi – First Plus Consulting Ltd.
Mercy Obi runs First Plus Consulting Limited, a company which works with the regulated sector, those struggling with complex requirements and risk to reputation when things go wrong. She helps clients make complex information not only easy to consume but easy to digest. At the heart of it all, she’s a data story teller who enjoys working with clients to create a simple, persuasive and engaging story together in order to influence change through data. She has worked with RBS, Lloyds Bank, Barclays and Scottish Water.
Emmeline Pidgen – Emmeline Pidgen Illustration
Emmeline illustrates books, graphic novels, editorials and advertising. She has illustrated six published picture books to date, one of which bagged her the Mom’s Choice Gold Award. Emmeline has also won/been nominated for a number of design and business awards for both her illustration work and her creative industries blog – which has garnered over 75,000 views per month. The Guardian, BBC Radio 4 and The Scotsman have all featured her work, and it’s been stocked in Selfridges, Waterstones and the V&A.
Lowri Roberts – Trosi Tanat Translation
Lowri runs Trosi Tanat Translation, providing Welsh translation services to a wide range of clients in the public, private and third sectors. Her services include written translation, simultaneous translation (interpretation) and translation software training for translators. Lowri, who comes from a family of freelancers, uses her optimum skills developed from both her education and previous employment, to positively influence the use and direction of the Welsh language through leading organisations. Her work significantly contributes to promoting and sustaining the Welsh language.
Katy Ratican – Ambition is Good
In 2015, Katy set up her own copywriting business, ‘Ambition Is Good’, offering a range of copy and social media services to help businesses of all sizes achieve their potential. With experience of writing for the web, radio advertising and newsletter creation, she is able to create and implement content strategies. Her biggest challenge has been believing in herself, and learning to understand that her skills are in demand. And after having Disney as a client already, it looks like they are.
Alice Selwood – Textile Designer
Alice is an embroidery designer specialising in embellishment and embroidery for the luxury fashion market. Based in a studio on a small farm in Cornwall, she takes inspiration from her surroundings and focuses on providing employment for the local community: graphic designers, textile workers, and sales and marketing professionals. After graduating in 2015, Alice has won the renowned New Designers Wilcom Prize, exhibited at Premiere Vision in Paris and been approached by Vogue.
Lauren Razavi – Freelance Journalist
Lauren is a freelance journalist and content strategist. Just eighteen months after graduating, she has established strong working relationships with the Guardian, the New Statesman and VICE, and worked with Google, Facebook and Expedia. She also speaks regularly on radio and TV about travel, foreign affairs and culture, and delivers guest lectures and classes on becoming a freelance writer. Lauren’s passion lies in politics, business, technology and global development, and her work has taken her to 20 countries so far.
Ben Franks – Ben Franks Wine
Ben runs Ben Franks Wine, an independent wine consultancy based in Bath. He helps wine lovers discover new wines with hundreds of free-to-view tasting notes and hosts luxury wine tastings across some of Bath’s best venues. The business also supplies these venues with wine and provides their staff with the expertise they need. Despite only graduating in 2015, Ben also writes about wine for Bath Life Magazine and UK Vine magazine and has a weekly wine column on tourism website bath.co.uk.
Zoe East - Opal
Zoe founded Opal Video, producing short videos for independent, community-focussed businesses. The videos tell the story behind the businesses and their products, connecting the maker with the consumer in a considered way. Most of Zoe’s commissions come from positive reviews by word of mouth, and she recently won six months’ free studio space in Leeds City Centre. Zoe’s work has been screened as far away as South Africa.
Gareth Fient – Shoot N’Snip
Gareth created Shoot N’ Snip, which helps graduate actors launch their careers by providing headshots, showreel and showreel editing. Having also worked as an independent filmmaker for several years in London, Los Angeles and Rhode Island, Gareth has worked on over 50 short films for clients including House of Fraser and NHS England, and several feature-length films too. Ravensbourne University, Gareth’s alma mater, also selected him to win the ‘Innovation in Business’ award.