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IPSE announces Young Freelancer of the Year finalists

IPSE is delighted to announce this year’s shortlist for the Young Freelancer Award. The four freelancers shortlisted are a diverse group from all across the UK, who impressed the panel with their determination at a young age.

The Awards, now in their sixth year, recognise and celebrate the innovation and excellence of freelancers across the UK. Applicants are judged on a range of criteria including the strength of their portfolio, their passion and commitment to freelancing, business acumen, creativity and the distinctiveness of their work.

Winners will be announced at the Freelancer of the Year Awards ceremony at Kings’ Place in London on 13 June 2018.

Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, commented: “Freelancing has grown massively over the last 10 years and the self-employed now add £275bn to the economy every year. These awards recognise the independent professionals who lead their fields, adding creativity, innovation, diversity and entrepreneurial energy to our society and economy.

“I’ve been blown away by the quality of our finalists. We received a large number of strong applications from freelancers all around the UK, and the tough choices we had to make to reach these finalists reflects just how high standards were.”

This year's finalists are: 

Elliot Reeves-Giblin, Actor

Born in Liverpool, Elliot began his career as a freelancer at the age of 17; working professionally as an actor at such theatres as the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. In 2015, with other Liverpool creatives, Elliot set up Out On Its Own Theatre Company, a theatre company comprised of young working class actors, designers and directors to tell relevant, engaging stories. Now in his final year at Drama School, I hope to grow and expand the company to tell even more stories to engage audiences and inspire the next generation of performers.


Elliot says "Having the privilege of being a finalist for Young Freelancer of the Year means so much to me. Coming from a working-class background where the opportunities to start your own business are scarce, it is not only reassuring to have the support of such industry professionals, but also confirms that I am on the right path. If given the opportunity to be named Young Freelancer; I will do my utmost to prove that their believe and support was not misplaced".

Liam Charmer, Tech Innovator

Liam Charmer, 24, has been creating technical products for companies since the age of 11, and officially for the past year. Liam puts great importance in working with clients to make sure his service reaches its greatest potential. When Liam isn’t working, he enjoys playing golf and has a keen passion for landscape photography.


Liam says "Being recognized let alone shortlisted provides me with great honour, as it means recognition towards the freelancer motion of helping others for each other’s benefits. This means a lot towards myself and everyone I’ve collaborated with”.

Shaunnah Sinead Crosbie, Costume Designer

Shaunnah Crosbie, 22, from Caerphilly in South Wales, runs a small costume design business. Since graduating from university, she has worked in Theatre and TV as a Costume Assistant, but decided to start her own business. Having always worked on craft stalls selling cushions and bunting, she now makes 1950s style circle skirts and sells them as a package with an adorned t-shirt, frilled socks, matching headband and petticoat.

To help achieve her business goals she has been assisted by Big Ideas Wales and The Princes Trust who she feels have been phenomenal and a real asset to her. In return for all of their help she has now been named as a Big Ideas Wales Role Model and has also become a Young Ambassador for The Princes Trust.


Shaunnah says: “as a nation, we are being made more aware that we cannot keep using throw-away fashion and we need to learn how to live as a self-sufficient nation again, especially with clothing being made overseas with child labour, poorly paid staff, and high plastic count in the material which is released into our water as soon as we wash our clothes. I try and make sure my business is as eco-friendly as possible by using mainly natural fabrics, UK suppliers and collect my scrap material which I take to a recycling bank in H&M where they are turned into sofa stuffing and carpet underlay.”

Bree Kotomah, Fashion Designer

Boresa Kotomah, known as Bree, is a 23-year-old fashion designer and seamstress and founded "Boresa Kotomah”, her own fashion label. Originating from Ghana, Bree uses her Ghanaian heritage and culture infused with her western upbringing as the main creative inspiration behind her brand.

Immediately after graduating university, Bree decided to pursue her love for fashion. She worked in fashion public relations for nine-months post-graduation before deciding to set up her business. In April 2018, the brand Boresa Kotomah was born. Since then, Bree has worked full-time for the brand. Having no prior fashion design experience, Bree is completely self-taught.


Bree says “My ultimate goal and purpose in life is to help others and Boresa Kotomah will subsequently serve as a platform for fulfilling this purpose."

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