Former judge on Sky One’s Sing: Ultimate A Cappella, Rachel Mason, has been crowned Freelancer of the Year 2019.
The Freelancer Awards by IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) are an annual event to celebrate the best of the UK’s 4.8 million freelancers and self-employed.
Rachel, a multi-award-winning songwriter, musical director, arranger and vocal coach, said she was “humbled and honoured” to receive the award.
The mum-of-two added: “I don’t know what to say. I just can’t believe I won instead of all the other amazingly talented people in my category.
“I love freelancing as it gives me the freedom to choose how I use my time. If inspiration strikes to write a song or plan a new project, I can move my schedule around to be able to follow the creative flow when I feel it.
“It’s such a liberating feeling to be able to do this and I know I’m at my most productive when I can work in this way.”
As part of the prize, Rachel received £5,000, one-year IPSE membership, mentoring with Mark Ropper, managing director of Affiny, coaching from Aon’s marketing team and another department of their choice.
Chris Bryce, IPSE’s CEO, said: “Freelancers are everywhere in our economy and society – adding creativity, innovation and even joy through their work. But they rarely get the recognition they deserve. IPSE’s Freelancer Awards are here to change that.
“It is always amazing to see the breadth of the freelance sector represented. Where else would you see a musical director up against an astronomer, an international relations expert, a sex therapist and a florist? It is so important for us all that these amazing people get the support and opportunities to flourish.”
The full list of winners on the night are:
National Freelancer of the Year Award, celebrating the innovation and excellence of freelancers in the UK: (winner) Rachel Mason, a musical director and songwriter from Somerset; (runner up) Colin Stuart, an author, astronomy expert and science enthusiast.
Young Freelancer of the Year Award, celebrating the most talented self-employed people aged 23 and under: (winner) Bree Kotomah, a fashion designer from London. Bree is self-taught and fuses her Ghanaian heritage with western styles; (highly commended) Elliot Reeves-Giblin, an actor from Liverpool who created a theatre company to encourage working-class children into the theatre.
New to Freelancing, celebrating professionals who have successfully become self-employed in the past two years: (winner) Adam Pearson, a research consultant from Lancashire.
Freelance project of the year: (winner) Olivier Jamin, deaf artist based in Birmingham. Olivier has been involved in a number of public engagement artworks, as well as encouraging new deaf artists.
Co-Working Space of the Year: (winner) Duke Studios, Leeds; (runner up) Incubyte, Cambridge; (highly commended) Devon Business and Education Centre, Devon.
Ambassador of the Year, celebrating membership organisations, support groups, knowledge hubs and individuals who support and represent the flexible labour market: (winner) Freelance Heroes, a community that provides peer-to-peer support for freelancers.
University Partner of the Year: (Winner) Goldsmiths, University of London; (runner up) Birkbeck, University of London.