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Creative Access end 2015 with a fantastic end of year party and award ceremony

Last night, Creative Access marked the end of 2015 with a party on the top floor of Hachette’s fabulous new building on the Embankment. The stunning terrace and rooftop views offered spectacular vistas of London at night; the drinks flowed, the mince pies were devoured and the buzz of over 150 interns filled the room.
Michael Foster, founder of Creative Access, kicked off the formal proceedings by announcing that the charity is “within a whisker of placing its’ 500th intern.” He told the room “how proud we are to have worked with over 200 different creative organisations, recruited interns from over 100 different universities and succeeded in helping over 70 per cent of our interns to secure full time work in the creative sector at the end of their internships.”

Tony Peers, Director of Human Resources at the National Theatre, then took the floor, proclaiming that for the first and only time in his career he was comparing himself to Lenny Henry! Working in theatre for over 20 years, he said “This is London in the 21st Century. Where are all the BAME people working in the theatre industry?” He said Creative Access were the first organisation he’d come across who genuinely made a change to this situation, commenting that “our Creative Access interns are amazing and we love working with them”. In just seven months, the National Theatre have recruited eight interns, hosted a phenomenal evening masterclass and offered hundreds of theatre tickets to Creative Access interns and alumni.

Dominic Mahony, Group Human Resources Director at Hachette UK, then formally welcomed everyone to the building. An early supporter of Creative Access, the publishing group has now taken 25 interns across their imprints, most of whom have gone on to work permanently at the company. He said “the best thing about Creative Access is that we have been able to take on the best and brightest talent and bring them in to publishing”.

We then heard from former Creative Access intern Phoebe Parke, who began her professional life on a three month Creative Access internship with CNN. She spoke about how 18 months later she is still there on a full time contract. Phoebe has really made the most of the opportunities provided by Creative Access, attending masterclasses long after her internship finished, going on conferences and regularly taking up offers of free theatre tickets.

Cheyney Smith, who is just completing her six month internship at publishing house Pan Macmillan, told the audience that she has been offered a permanent role in the Children’s department and “couldn’t be happier.”

Next up was our very special Creative Access Awards which aimed to honour some of our exceptional media partners and interns. The full list of nominees and winners is below:


Neal Street Productions
Royal Shakespeare Company
WINNER: National Theatre

Latimer Group
Absolute Marketing
WINNER: Factory Media

12 Yard
WINNER: CPL Productions
Lime Pictures

WINNER: Hachette
Pan Macmillan

Paines Plough
The Society of Authors
WINNER: HarperCollins

The Publishers Association
The Bookseller


SUSTAINABILITY AWARD for encouraging greater diversity in the creative industries
Amrit Matharu
Cassie Quarless
Caroline Carpenter
Dominic Grant
WINNER: Gama Gbio

NETWORK AWARD for creating networks and encouraging collaboration
Suhail Patel
Natalie Adams
Alex Browning
WINNER: Manisha Matharu

FAST TRACK AWARD for outstanding career progress
Ziyaad Desai
Khaleda Rahman
Daniel Dempster
Ashley John-Baptiste
Nicole Logan
Clarissa Pabi
Simone Ibbett-Brown
WINNER: Isha Karki
Sonali Dutta
Whitney Henry

SUPERSTAR AWARD for outstanding support
Ross Cameron
Lyddia Maddix
Bradley Cumberbatch
WINNER: Emmanuelle Kwenortey
Renee Toussaint

Lydia Maddix, former Creative Access intern at Big Minded TV (and now researcher at ITV) treated the audience to two of her own songs which she sang and played on guitar.

A huge thank you to Hachette for hosting and to all those who came last night to help make it a wonderful celebration of Creative Access’s achievements.