A music mentor who works as a step-up team lead at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Dartford has been named as one of three winners of the 2022 Amazon Stars programme, winning a personalised Dream Box prize worth £1,500.

Joseph Wilson has taken home one of the top prizes in this year’s Amazon Stars campaign, a UK-wide Amazon programme to thank employees who make an outstanding contribution to their community through volunteering, fundraising and using their unique skills and talents to help others.

Amazon_Stars_2022 - Joseph Wilson, Dartford

Joseph is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the drums, bass guitar and piano. Every year, he uses his gifts to mentor and encourage young, emerging artists who have the talent to write and play music but lack the financial means to pursue a career in the industry.

Joseph offers support to these young people free of charge, as he understands the impact that personal circumstances can have on following your dreams. Joseph’s colleagues thought his voluntary efforts should be rewarded, so they nominated him for an Amazon Star award.

As part of his personalised Dream Box prize, Joseph received a £1,000 donation towards new music equipment and decorations for a musical event he organises called Church Play. He has also won a speaker and exclusive tickets to attend an Amazon Music event.

Growing up, Joseph was encouraged to put his musical passions aside and find a career that would be financially secure. Although he followed the advice of his family to finish school, he never lost his passion for music and the drive to spur others on in their endeavours.

Amazon_Stars_2022 - Joseph Wilson, Dartford
Amazon_Stars_2022 - Joseph Wilson, Dartford

As a result, Joseph went on to organise Church Play, a mentor-led workshop for young people with musical talent. The event takes place annually and involves musical experts and professional musicians mentoring young people with musical ambition, encouraging them to not only follow their passions, but also finish school and develop as people. Joseph also has a YouTube channel aimed at teaching young people musical techniques.

Speaking on his passion for music and the impact of Church Play, Joseph said: “Music is everything to me; when I play, I am home. The most rewarding part of sharing my gifts with young people one-on-one and through Church Play is watching them grow into great people. One young man I’ve worked with for some time, who’s a great drummer, recently got to play a show with me at the O2 in London. Getting to watch him to do what he loves was such a joy – that’s what motivates me.”

He added: “I want Church Play to grow so we can help even more young people with talent develop into great musicians and great people. I also want to reach young people in the community who are at risk of joining gangs, to show them that there’s a better way.”

Speaking after learning that he’d won one of this year’s Amazon Star awards, Joseph said: “I am shocked to have won an Amazon Star award and want to thank my colleagues for nominating me. I can’t wait to make Church Play into an even bigger and better event thanks to Amazon’s support.”

Amazon_Stars_2022 - Joseph Wilson, Dartford

Emmanuel Asante, a colleague and friend of Joseph’s from Amazon in Dartford, added: “I’ve known Joseph since childhood, and it’s great to see his hard work recognised. When Joseph sees a young person with talent and potential, he builds their confidence and allows them to see that potential in themselves. I’m really proud of him for giving so much back to our community.”

Priyanka Bernard, General Manager at Amazon in Dartford, said: “Joseph’s efforts in the community are inspiring and we’re so pleased that he’s been rewarded with an Amazon Star award. Joseph is a highly valued member of the team here at Amazon in Dartford and we’re proud of everything he’s achieved by going the extra mile for a cause he cares so deeply about.”

Now in its third year, Amazon Stars is a UK-wide campaign that recognises and rewards Amazon employees who make an outstanding contribution to the local community by using their skills, time and knowledge to help others.

Amazon_Stars_2022 - Joseph Wilson, Dartford

Amazon employees in the company’s UK operations network do exceptional work to deliver for customers. Many of them have been combining their great work at Amazon with serving their communities through volunteering their time, raising funds and much more.

In 2020, to recognise and reward the Amazon heroes going the extra mile for others, Amazon created the Amazon Stars programme. At the end of each year, employees are called to nominate colleagues who have done outstanding work inside and outside of Amazon.

Hundreds of nominations were received in the UK this year, with inspiring stories of employees working to meet the needs of colleagues, customers and communities.