IPSE: UK’s top freelancers of 2021 revealed at IPSE Freelancer awards

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 IPSE Freelancer awards.

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Shortlisted nominees were announced in September for eight award categories: ‘Outstanding Freelancer’, ‘New Freelancer’, ‘Wellbeing’, ‘Freelancing Project’, ‘Collaboration’, ‘Young Freelancer’, ‘Covid-19 Success Story’ and ‘Best Self-Employed Supplier’.

The awards, which were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, celebrate the achievements of the UK’s brightest and best freelancers, as well as organisations who do the most to support the self-employed. The winners were named at an awards ceremony at Kings Place, London on Thursday 14 October.

The full list of winners are:

‘Outstanding Freelancer’ (to recognise and celebrate the innovation and excellence of freelancers in the UK): Jaime Gill

Jaime Gill, winner of the ‘Outstanding Freelancer’ award, said: “When I set out as a full-time freelancer just over a year ago, I was hoping for two things. Firstly, that I would make enough money to pay my rent. Secondly, that by going freelance I would gain the freedom to make an impact on behalf of Cambodian non-profits struggling with the huge challenges of the pandemic.  

I've managed to keep up on my rent, and winning this award really makes me feel like I have made an impact. Most importantly, it gives me the encouragement to try and do more.”

‘New Freelancer’ (to celebrate the achievements of freelancers who have only recently taken the brave step of working for themselves): Claire Hutchings

Claire Hutchings, winner of the ‘New Freelancer’ award, said: Winning the best New Freelancer award is really special and very unexpected! I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved in the last 11 months and this award will spur me on to keep growing, learning and achieving.”

‘Wellbeing’ award (for those who have prioritised and raised awareness about mental health and wellbeing in the freelance community): Julia Payne

‘Freelancing Project’ (to celebrate specific successful freelancer projects): Lily Canter and Emma Wilkinson

Lily Canter and Emma Wilkinson, winners of the ‘Freelancing Project’ said: “We are delighted to have won an award for our podcast. We feel passionately about supporting journalists to become successful freelancers and have been overwhelmed by listener's response to the series. The award is the perfect icing on the cake!”

‘Covid-19 Success Story’ (to celebrate individuals who have done something amazing to help others during the pandemic): Nadine Campbell and Faye Dicker (joint winners)

Nadine Campbell, winner of the ‘Covid-19 Success Story’ award, said: “I am so proud to be an IPSE award winner with ACE Entrepreneurs! This increases the impact we can make to support and grow black-owned businesses, which promotes diversity and inclusion for start-up businesses. Thanks to my investment partner Kevin Edwards, together we are disrupting the investment community with our micro-investment fund and closing the gap on funding to marginalised communities in the UK.”

Faye Dicker, winner of the ‘Covid-19 Success Story award’, said: “It’s a real honour to have won Covid-19 Success Story – not least because the finalists were all such strong contenders. I really wasn’t expecting it! The recognition means so much and really helps to keep supporting the Freelance Mum community and the launch of the new hubs. This can only help keep the momentum going and spurring us all on.”

‘Collaboration’ award (to celebrate a joint venture carried out between two or more freelancers who worked in partnership to deliver excellence and create something new or unique): Gemma Thirsk and Cassandra Lane

‘Young Freelancer’ (celebrating the achievements of people under 30 who have made the jump into freelancing at an early age and are already a success): Liam O’Dell

Liam O’Dell, winner of the ‘Young Freelancer’ award, said: “I am still in shock at my win, not least because everyone else in my category was just as worthy as appearing on that stage as I was! 

I truly believe this is not my award, but the Deaf community’s award, and I have to thank Lynn Stewart-Taylor for her campaigning, Charlie Swinbourne at The Limping Chicken for offering me the platform to get my work out there, and IPSE for the huge honour."

‘Best Self-Employed Supplier’ (to celebrate the supplier who has done most to serve the self-employed community): inniAccounts

James Poyser, CEO of inniAccounts, winners of the ‘Best Self-Employed Supplier Award’, said: It's been a tough two years for the self-employed, and we're over the moon that IPSE have recognised the dedication our team has shown in helping the whole self-employed community work through IR35 and Covid-19. As we emerge from crisis, here at inniAccounts, we're spurred on by our Best Self-Employed Supplier Award to help our community thrive once more.

Derek Cribb, IPSE Chief Executive, said: “Our winners this year are proof of the unwavering spirit of the freelance workforce. Despite the immense challenges of the pandemic, our award winners pivoted to adapt their businesses, launch new projects, and provide help and support to people in their communities, including other freelancers.

With an incredible shortlist of finalists, this year’s awards were an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the freelance community over the past two years, giving our finalists and winners the recognition they wholly deserve. Congratulations again to the winners of all our award categories.”

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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.

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