The Building Heroes team
Established in 2014, Building Heroes is dedicated to service leavers, veterans, reservists and military families. We provide training and employment support into a new career in construction by equipping individuals with a broad range of trade skills and then connecting them with a network of employers.
We join forces together - Armed Forces leavers, the education sector and the construction industry - benefiting all concerned. We are the gateway to second careers in construction for service leavers, veterans and their families. We remove the barriers of time, and money and provide welfare support and training leading to national job opportunities.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
We are proud to be recognised for the exceptionally hard work that the Building Heroes team put in every day, helping to recruit, reskill and redeploy those who have kept us safe.
Pete previously led a successful business career having worked for several major corporations. He is the District and County Councillor for Cuckfield, currently Chairman of West Sussex County Council, Vice-Chairman of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Originally from Lancashire, Pete has lived in Sussex since 1977.
Sir Arthur Nicholas Winston Soames, sometimes known as Nick Soames, is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex since 1997. He is a grandson of Winston Churchill.
Debbie Porter was a troop leader at Bristol Officer Training Corps whilst at University and from there joined the Army as a Movement Control Officer in the Royal Corps of Transport. During her Army career she served in the UK, Germany, Falklands and Cyprus. Since leaving she has worked with Nissan and then PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 22 years.
Andrew joined the Army in 1974 as a recruit at Pirbright, Surrey. Andrew completed Officer Training at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he then commissioned in the Scots Guards in March 1976. His final appointment as a serving officer was as Head of the MOD’s Foreign Liaison Staff in London charged with a small team for assisting the 250 or more Foreign Service Attaches accredited to the UK.
Noel qualified in the Royal Navy as: Watchkeeping Officer, Navigation Officer, Torpedo and Anti-Submarine Officer, Diving Instructor Officer, Communications Officer, Gunnery Officer, NBCD (Nuclear Biological Chemical and Damage Control) Warfare Officer.
Noel continues his association with the Royal Navy as chairman of the Worthing Royal Naval Association looking after the welfare of local veterans and widows.
Noel is pleased to serve as a trustee of Building Heroes both the Education Foundation and Property Services.
Serving across theaters from Northern Ireland, Sardinia, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Germany, including specialist tours such as “Brixmis” and being part of the forward operating team for the 1st Gulf war, I left the RAF in 1996 under Options for Change, leaving with an MBA gained through the RAF “distant learning scheme”.
In November 2006, I achieved a desire to purchase a couple of property portfolios and set up my own Property Company which is still running today. With the need to maintain our growing portfolio, we established in 2015 Caring Caretaker as a Property and Maintenance Company which todays employs 41 personnel of which 17 are ex veterans 3 are service dependents.
Mick joined the Royal Marines in 1985 and served for 23 years. Mick had a very successful career between 1989 – 2008 and saw operational deployments globally including Gulf War 1 and Sierra Leone. He was awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal in 1995 and made an MBE in 2000. Mick retired from the Royal Marines in 2008.
James has been involved with property all his working life and following a main board directorship at Dorrington Plc set up his own development company in 1995,therefore has a good understanding of the construction industry and the vision of Building Heroes. He is involved in a number of businesses, trustee of a London-based charity, governor of two schools, and the current High Sheriff of West Sussex.
After 25 years of Brendan working at leading Global Investment Banks, working in Operations and Technology and as a Chief Operating Officer, it was time to give something else a go. Born into a long line of specialist master bricklayers, the opportunity to help start Building Heroes was too difficult to pass up. Being Chief Executive draws on all his cross disciplinary experience and brings more rewards than banking ever could. You only have to be told once that you have changed a life for the better to know all the hard work is worthwhile.
Karen has over 30 years’ experience working in business, education and volunteer sector, leading the operations of a diverse range of contracts.
Karen is also a registered career development practitioner offering a unique combination of experience acquired in her early career in events, media and marketing, before transitioning into contract management within the education sector.
Prior to joining Building Heroes, Harri worked in Business Management roles with both BT plc and Canon UK and his role with Building Heroes encompasses Finance, HR and IT.
The Royal British Legion also benefits from Harri’s skills as he combines being Secretary of the Legion in Hayes with his work at Building Heroes.
Harri is also Chairman of Hayes (Kent) Cricket Club, a keen golfer and passionate Manchester City fan.
Finlay has a quiet, thoughtful personality and focuses on making sure that any task he is put to work on is completed quickly but to a high standard. Currently he is working as a Business Administration Assistant to improve his office skills and assist the charity in maintaining their standards of service delivery.
Glynis worked at Essex County Council for 27 years. She began as a Divisional Administrator where she assisted with the management of the County’s first Essex Enterprise Centre. During her last seven years with the Council she managed and developed various Apprenticeship programmes. She has been an active partner in a Construction company which has given her transferable skills to support Building Heroes.
Rachel is a military wife and brings a wealth of experience after spending eight years in IT training, travelling across the UK working with the Ministry of Defence, Government organisations, security and aerospace sectors and the NHS. As a university graduate, she began her career as a Recruitment Consultant recruiting teachers and support staff in the education sector and is now supporting our learners into employment outcomes within the construction industry.
Melanie Butcher has been a staunch member of the Building Heroes Team for several years and has worked with the military for as long a time.
She has been working with us to ensure that our contracts are successful and will continue to help us make sure that we are delivering our contracts to as high a standard as possible and ensure that the charity will continue into the future.
Nicola joined Building Heroes at the beginning of 2023 as Head of Community, People and Partners, having left Lovell Partnerships at the end of 2022, where she enjoyed a varied role in communications, marketing and brand development.
A marketing communications graduate, Nicola joined Lovell as Community Relations Manager for the Major Projects team, supporting essential liaison with all key stakeholders during the delivery of a high volume of Service Family Accommodations on Salisbury Plain, as part of the Army Basing Programme. Following delivery and Aftercare provision completion in September 2021, Nicola migrated to the Lovell Later Living division as Marketing, PR and Customer Experience Manager. Nicola’s role within both teams at Lovell was to develop and expand relationships with key stakeholders whilst implementing community engagement programmes and assisting in the support of Lovell Legacy endeavours, while executing marketing and public relationship strategies.
Nicola brings her experience to Building Heroes to facilitate both internal and external communications and build upon existing, while also establishing new Corporate Partnerships within the construction sector and beyond; developing relationships where Building Heroes can be a key charity partner to organisations so that they may fulfil their Social Value commitments through working with us as we support our Tri-Service Military community when transitioning into civilian life with the provision of training and employability skills that can lead to a second career within the construction industry.
Ian has joined Building Heroes in November of 2023 having had over 30 years of business experience, much of which has been related to education. Ian began his working life in the RAF after leaving the Royal Hospital School, which at the time has a military boarding school. Ian's public service has also included several years working in state education as a teacher of business and economics.
When the opportunity to join Building Heroes presented itself, Ian could not resist, as it joins together all of his experience and passions and most importantly gives him the opportunity to help those that have given so much to us through their military service.
Shamila has a background in education working for various organisations. She has a wide range of experience working with different client groups, employment, and recruitment. She is a committed individual who is always looking for positive outcome with those she works with.
Jason joined Building Heroes, as the course coordinator for the Northwest region, at the beginning of September 2022. Prior to taking up this appointment he had a very successful career within the British Army between 1985 – 2022 (Private soldier to Major). During his 37 years’ service he has deployed on multiple operational tours including Iraq and Afghanistan and has a wealth of experience in Facilities Management, Logistics and Human Resources.
Jason completed the construction multi-skills course in July 2022 as part of his transition from the military into the civilian sector. As such, he has first-hand experience of what the course offers and the benefit of equipping individuals with a broad range of trade skills and then connecting them with a network of employers.
I come from a recruitment background, having worked in the care and legal sectors for the past three years. Therefore, I am able to offer extensive employment support to our learners, as well as, use my previous care connections to provide welfare support. I am new to the construction and military sectors but find it incredibly rewarding to help service leavers and veterans lead successful civilian lives. Working at Building Heroes has given me a new perspective on the Armed Forces and those effected by service - both those who serve and their families.
Having previously worked in the travel and recruitment industry, I have developed extensive skills within a customer focused environment and I pride myself on my professional work ethic. I am committed to building strong relationships by taking time to understand individual needs, aided by my extensive experience in Customer Service. Candidates tell me that I am helpful and very approachable which puts them at ease.
Even though I am new to the military sector I feel that my previous customer service, mentoring and recruitment skills will enable me to help people through the transition period into civilian life. I pride myself on listening to an individual's requirements.
Although I have not been with Building Heroes long, I feel that I am already giving something back to people that need our help and support.
Danielle has a vast array of experience within recruitment and progression in sectors such as manufacturing, care and voluntary services. She is fueled by her passion for helping others and is well versed in supporting learners and aiding them in finding suitable employment opportunities. She has previously led projects which have enabled learners to achieve their career goals whilst maintaining that all-important work-life balance.
Clare has been a military wife for almost 20 years now, experiencing the highs and the lows that come with military life. She previously worked for a military charity within their Health and Wellbeing Team. Prior to this, she has 22 years experience in customer focused roles. As a member of the military community she has experience to help tackle unemployment and support to transition into a new career.
Helen has a wealth of construction, recruitment and IAG experience. She worked for 10 years with a large training provider offering construction skills and qualifications to unemployed 16-18 year olds and 19+. Previous to this she worked for a large building company dealing with customers, employees and subcontractors. Now she manages our Groundworks & Streetworks course and our Green skills course up in the North East.
Steve is currently the Sherford Skills & Training Coordinator in Plymouth at the biggest onsite training centre in the country where he has been part of two successful CITB bid submissions that have secured 6 years of funding for training at the Skills Centre. Steve was born in Portsmouth but left for Plymouth to study at The University of Plymouth in 1998. Between 1998 and 2005 he studied for an undergraduate, then a postgraduate degree at Plymouth University. During this period, he was elected as President of the Student Union, and became actively involved in politics. In 2006 he was successfully elected to Plymouth City Council holding various Cabinet posts such as Transport & Housing Delivery until 2018. Steve has worked in ‘Welfare to Work’ for many years and in Plymouth‘s Drug and Rehab Centre. He also worked on the Erasmus programme helping EU students find high quality work placements in Plymouth while serving as an Army Reservist with Six Rifles. Apart from a short spell in East London, working in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, helping long-term unemployed people into work he has lived in Plymouth ever since. Steve manages our Plymouth Centre in the South West.
Phil joined the Building Heroes Team on 22 May 23 after serving over 38 years in the British Army. He joined the Royal Corps of Signals at the age of 16 as a Junior Soldier in 1984 serving around the world before retiring from regular service in Oct 22 as a Lieutenant Colonel after working in Army Headquarters in a Capability and Acquisition role.
A very experienced logistician with a wealth of knowledge in Facilities, Transport and Project Management. Prior to retirement and during transition form the Army to the civilian sector he attended the Construction Multi-Skills course in Jul 22 at Reaseheath Collage.
Lin is a Councillor in Mid Sussex District Council representing High Weald Ward. She is currently a member of the scrutiny committees for Audit, Leader & Service Delivery and Planning & Economic Development. She also represents the District Council as Champion for the Armed Forces Covenant. Before retiring in 2012 Lin worked for Lloyds Banking Group, initially as a Customer Service Manager, then in Credit Risk Finance as an analyst and business support manager.
I left the Army in 2020 during the start of the COVID pandemic. I had served with the Royal Engineers for over 38 years and was ready for a new challenge in life. Building Heroes - Property Maintenance Course was an ideal fit for my resettlement, my background in construction engineering had given mea basis to start my own handyman services and this course was an ideal foot on the ladder.
I was really impressed with the professionalism of the trade instructors - given the diversity, individuals skill levels on the course, their knowledge of their trade shone through. On completion of my training, I had the confidence and skills to refit my bathroom. I dipped my toe into the handyman business but due to family commitments this is now on the back burner.
I was so impressed with the Building Heroes ethos and commitment to helping ex-servicemen and women that I am now a volunteer working alongside the area co-ordinate, assisting with presentations and fund raising for this great charity.
Recruit, Reskill, Redeploy with fully-funded training and full support during and post course.
Our team draws on a wealth of experience to support individuals and companies looking for exceptional talent.