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Education scholarship for bartenders launches

Food and drink operator London Union and spirits educator The Mixing Class have joined forces to launch the Mark Ridgwell Scholarship, awarding placements for bartenders to study with the WSET.

The scholarship has been launched in memory of respected spirits educator Mark Ridgwell

Mark Ridgwell, an esteemed drinks educator who helped develop the Wine & Spirits Education Trust’s (WSET) spirits-focused course, passed away at the end of last year.

In his memory, London Union and The Mixing Class have launched the Mark Ridgwell Scholarship, which will fund six placements annually for bartenders to study the WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits.

Jonathan Downey, who founded London Union, called on the expertise of Ridgwell to act as the in-house educator for The Rushmore Group. Meanwhile, Hannah Lanfear, who founded The Mixing Class, was a student of Ridgwell’s and credits his training programme with changing the direction of her professional life.

At London Union, we are delighted to be able to continue the work of the wonderful partnership that The Rushmore Group had with Mark Ridgwell over the many years, and also continue to champion the importance of spirits education for the future of the bar industry,” said Downey.

Board member Hannah Sharman-Cox, founder of Drink Up London, added: “The cocktail industry is built on the back of the passion for learning from those that work within it.

“This project is a fantastic way of making sure that spirits education remains within reach for young bartenders and it’s fantastic for a generation of Mark’s students to be able to continue seeding the essential idea that bartending is more than just a manual craft.

“Knowing how much Mark would appreciate this initiative makes it all the more wonderful to be part of.”

Bartenders can request an application form by emailing Entries will close on 18 September.

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