This December we gathered our members, partners and Patrons at the iconic House of Lords to celebrate communication. Our guests were greeted with a glass of Prosecco on arrival, and the chance to network and connect under the Christmas tree in the Cholmondeley Room. Everyone then took their seats overlooking the Thames as Claire Fennelow (Executive Director) welcomed our attendees to our annual Fellowship Awards Lunch.

We were then delighted to announce the three Fellows joining our illustrious list. Our new Fellows are as follows:


Communications Fellow: Simon Weston CBE

When the RFA Sir Galahad was destroyed in the Bluff Cove Air Attack during the Falklands War, in 1982, on board was Simon Weston, Welsh Guardsman. Simon was severely injured, sustaining serious burns to 46% of his body. He has become well-known across the United Kingdom and abroad for his struggle to overcome his injuries and redefine his role in life, and his message is one of achievement, of triumph in the face of adversity, and of seizing the moment and succeeding.

Simon’s story has been well publicised and he has been the subject of five major BBC Television documentaries. He has been active in a number of highly successful charity ventures and been awarded an OBE and a CBE for his charitable work. Simon presented reports for ITN covering the 90th Anniversary of the end of the First World War and in late 2011 he returned to the Falklands Islands to film a documentary to help mark the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands War in 2012. His autobiography, Walking Tall, was No1 in the best-selling list. His most recent book, Moving On was published in 2003 and sees Simon lay his Falklands ghosts to rest. He has also written a fiction series and published 4 children’s books. He has toured across the UK doing theatre, and runs his own business.

Events Fellow: Steve Quah (CEO, Cheerful Twentyfirst)

Steve Quah is the creative and dynamic CEO of Cheerful Twentyfirst. His wealth of experience and unrelenting quest for quality and innovation has shaped the culture of the agency and the calibre of our global projects. With over 30 years of expertise in theatrical and corporate live events, digital brand experiences and audience engagement, Steve is the driving force behind our strong creative service ethos. Steve has worked with the leading brands to deliver event experiences around the globe, including BBC Studios, Vodafone, Wall Street Journal, Google, Oath, Clifford Chance, LG, Disney, AOL, News UK and Microsoft to name but a few. With a hands-on approach across both London and New York offices, Steve leads from the very front and continues to put people and purpose at the heart of the agency.

Film Fellow: Andrew Smith (Creative Director, A-Vision)

Andrew is recognised around the world as a screen content and creative ideas heavyweight. He has been at the forefront of audio visual digital innovation, and has accumulated prestigious international awards in the spheres of film video, virals, augmented reality, mobile apps, projection mapping, outdoor digital, and live event streaming. Andrew has applied his diverse skill set to worldwide brands including McLaren, Vodafone, Sony, CoStar Group, Royal Caribbean International, Persil, P&O, Nissan, PG Tips and IHG, where he oversaw the entire creative execution for the rebranding of Holiday Inn Hotels worldwide.


Each of them spoke about their careers to date, their journey’s to where they are today and their learnings on the way. “It’s all about love,” said Steve Quah, from loving the people around you to loving what you do and the industry that you’re a part of. He talked about setting up Cheerful Twentyfirst when he was only 21, and the journey he has taken the company on since. Andrew spoke about innovation, building relationships with the US and finding an extended family in the DRPG team. Simon spoke about his experience of being severely injured whilst fighting in the Falklands War, and how his injuries redefined his life. “It’s not about what happens to you,” he said. “It’s what you choose to do about it that matters.” He spoke about the importance of the communications industry, which allowed him to share his story.

A three course Christmas lunch was then served, and guests celebrated the end of their year with their colleagues, clients and fellow EVCOM members. It was a pleasure to come together as 2023 draws to a close, to recognise our wonderful industry and some of the people who contribute so much to making it what it is today.


Take a look at the Fellowship Awards in pictures, captured by our photographer Leo Wilkinson:

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