Support The Ben Martin Apprentice Award in 2020

The Ben Martin Apprentice Award (BMAA) was founded by Bristol Media in 2018 to kick-start careers and support diversity for the creative, advertising and technology talent within Bristol and the South West.

20th February 2020

The BMAA was hugely successful last year and, after recently announcing Okori Lewis-McCalla as this year’s winner, we’re keen to hear from businesses who would like to support the initiative in 2020.

About the BMAA

16% of Bristol’s population is from a BAME background, but these groups are still vastly underrepresented within our creative sector. Diversity and inclusion is somewhere on the agenda for most businesses but it’s often difficult to know how to make a difference.

The BMAA was launched in 2018 in memory of Ben Martin, a local agency MD who passionately believed that success was achievable regardless of background or education. The Award supports young people from underrepresented backgrounds by offering them work experience and opportunities with local creative businesses (as well as a trip to SXSW for one lucky winner).

This year, Okori and 3 runners-up have been selected to participate in the programme. Okori is currently preparing for SXSW in March, after which he and the runners up will start their paid internship programme with sponsoring agencies, taking their first steps into professional life. During their work experience they will be coached and supported for employability, setting them up for their future career within their chosen area of interest.

Marissa Lewis-Peart won last year’s BMAA and completed over 5 months of internships with 16 different agencies, gaining valuable experience across a range of creative sectors.

“Nothing compares to gaining real industry experience and I’m so glad to have been given this opportunity. Winning the Ben Martin Apprentice Award provided me with connections to people within the industry and the rare opportunity to experience some of the biggest creative agencies in Bristol. The experience and support really helped me to feel more confident in getting ready to start my career.” Marissa said.


Alongside Bristol Media, the headline sponsor for the 2020 BMAA is ADLIB with continued support from Babbasa. ADLIB are very excited to join the initiative as this year’s key sponsor.

“We all want to make our industry more diverse and inclusive, but when you run a small business it’s not always easy to know how to make a practical difference. By coming together as the Bristol Media community to support the BMAA, every member business, regardless of size, can do their bit to help young people get that all important foot in the door.” ~ Chris Thurling, Chair, Bristol Media

“Diversity and Inclusion isn’t a tick box exercise; it requires an engaged commitment to drive change and live and breathe an all-inclusive environment. Building a diverse and inclusive team is proven to drive increased employee engagement, creativity, innovation and profitability (and that’s just for starters). We have founded the True Diversity initiative with the mission to help Technology, Data, Marketing and Creative businesses identify where they are at on their journey towards diversity, what they could improve and how to go about making those adjustments.” ~ Nick Dean, MD, ADLIB

Corporate sponsors for 2020

This year, we’re looking for agencies and businesses to be involved as corporate sponsors, to provide additional funding and further reach for young people. The BMAA will offer corporate sponsors the chance to promote their workplace diversity and inclusive work environment, highlighting their company values and adding to their attractiveness as an employer. Sponsors will have access to an exclusive workshop and branding opportunities.

The package costs £350 and includes but is not limited to:

  • Marketing exposure – months of profile opportunities on the Bristol Media website and other online coverage surrounding the award.
  • Diversity workshop – attendance at an exclusive workshop where ADLIB and McCann’s Global Head of Diversity will share guidelines and tools to build a culture of inclusion.
  • Work experience and shared knowledge for and from diverse talent within your business. Sponsors/agencies/businesses are asked to commit to at least 1 week of work experience for the apprentice, at the minimum wage.

Get involved

To be involved in supporting this fantastic initiative, please contact Alli Nicholas at Bristol Media at [email protected].

We’re immensely proud of the role we’ve played in leading this initiative and have seen first-hand the impact it has had on both the BMAA Winner and the agencies involved. Thank you to the growing list of agencies who have already joined this initiative – Armadillo CRMTallt VenturesMcCann BristolMr B & FriendsOakwoodImmediate MediaEpoch DesignHaloTorchbox and Diva Agency – who have committed to making a difference.


About Bristol Creative Industries

Bristol Creative Industries is the membership network that supports the region's creative sector to learn, grow and connect, driven by the common belief that we can achieve more collectively than alone. 

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