Today Maureen and I were delighted to be guests at the Youthbuild UK Young Builder of the Year Awards held on the beautiful Terrace at the House of Commons, overlooking the Thames, hosted by the Rt Hon Sir John Hayes MP. The awards celebrate the achievements of young, usually socially excluded people, who, despite having to overcome many personal barriers, have succeeded in training for and being employed in the construction industry. Youthbuild UK has been chosen as the Company's Charity of the Year for 2019/20, so this was an extra special occasion for us to celebrate.

On arrival we were greeted by Trustee and Freeman of our Company, Livia Williams, Head of Major and Minor Works for Nottingham City Homes who  is dedicated to supporting the roofing industry at strategic level through the development of apprenticeships, training, management and qualifying the workforce.  Livia introduced us to the Chair of Youthbuild UK, Stephen Ratcliffe and other Trustees and we were privileged to meet some of the finalists. Some of their stories were truly inspiring and we were overwhelmed by the huge effort and dedication all the finalists have shown to achieve their ambitions.

The guest speaker, Michael Volpe, Director General and Founder of Opera Holland Park inspired all present with his own story of how he overcame many barriers in his life to change things and finally achieve his dreams.
The finalists were all deserving of their places at the awards ceremony today and the chairman of the judging panel described how difficult it was to choose winners from the list of brilliant entrants and finalists.

Nick James from Jones Homes North West was chosen as the winner of the 18-24-year-old category and Dylan Connell of Barnardo’s ETS (North) as the winner of the 14-18-year-old category, both truly deserving winners with amazing stories to tell. However, as emphasised by the Chairman and other Trustees, all the finalists were winners today.