Meet The Heart and Soul Of Building Heroes

Meet some of our team of Training Centre Coordinators and Training Academy Leads

Meet Danielle Neal, HR expert and Academy Manager, Andy Maylett, Business Development Manager, UK North, Helen Faulding, who leads the Streetworks Programme in the North East, and Rachel Fianko, Centre Coordinator in Aldershot.

Danielle Neal

Having worked in HR and recruitment for several years, Danielle recognised the untapped potential within herself to contribute to a cause that truly mattered. Her decision to join Building Heroes was rooted in a deep desire to support the armed forces community who had served the country selflessly. She saw an opportunity to utilise her skills to facilitate the seamless transition of ex-military learners into the construction industry.

Danielle Neal is our Academy Lead in London. She plays a crucial role in identifying the unique talents and capabilities of ex-military individuals. She works closely with the learners to assess their skills and experiences, and will successfully match them with suitable opportunities within the construction industry.

Danielle said: "It has been incredibly rewarding to witness the transformation as these individuals realise their potential and find their place in the industry."

Danielle continues to remain dedicated to providing ongoing guidance and support to the learners. Acknowledging the challenges inherent in their transition, she has extended mentorship, shared valuable career development advice, and actively facilitated networking opportunities within the construction industry.

Through the establishment of a nurturing and supportive environment, Danielle aims to empower these individuals, fostering their ability to overcome obstacles and successfully achieve their goals.

Andy Maylett

After an illustrious 22-year career in the Royal Corps of Signals, achieving the prestigious rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 and serving as Regimental Sergeant Major, Andy Maylett bid farewell to the military in 2010.

Embarking on a new journey, Andy dedicated the last 13 years to the Telecommunications Industry, both in the UK and abroad. Having been trained as a Telecommunications Engineer whilst serving in the Army, Andy made a bold decision to kick-start his civilian career from the ground up, joining British Telecom as an OpenReach engineer.

Prior to joining Building Heroes in September 2023, Andy’s last position working with the Telecoms Sector was for an Independent Internet Service Provider as The Head of Network Build, for GB.

Motivated by a desire to give back and assist former service personnel in transitioning from military to civilian careers within the construction industry, Andy found a perfect fit with Building Heroes. Eager to leverage his own experiences, he joined the team initially on a part-time basis, covering maternity leave for one of the Centre Coordinators in the UK North. Recently, Andy embraced a full-time role as the Business Development Manager, UK North.

Reflecting on his journey, Andy expressed, "The sense of job satisfaction when a service leaver gains full-time employment upon successful completion of one of the many Building Heroes Courses is second to none! Knowing that you played a small part in helping that individual get their foot on the first rung of the 'Civilian Street' job ladder is a great feeling. Being back around service personnel & the accompanying banter that comes with the job, is something that I have missed dearly and look forward to engaging with each new cohort'."

Helen Faulding

Helen Faulding joined Building Heroes after spending ten years working with 16 - 19 year-olds NEETS and 19+ unemployed individuals working within the construction industry. She was looking for a part time role and Building Heroes were able to provide this.

Helen said: "The team I work with are fantastic and they are more like a family. I feel very valued as an employee at Building Heroes".

Although Helen doesn't come from a military background and none of her immediate family members have served, this in no way diminishes her possession of the requisite skills, knowledge, and most importantly the passion and commitment she has to excel in her role and provide valuable support to the armed forces community.

She continues to say: "Little did I know how much I would enjoy my role working at Building Heroes and how rewarding it is! Why would I not support and help ex-military individuals gain employment after all they done for civilians - putting their lives at risk for us!".

Helen loves meeting new learners at induction and spending time with them throughout the course. She enjoys the culture and banter that goes on within each cohort of learners, especially when it is a tri-service course!

Helen is our lead for the Streetworks programme and the soon to launch Retrofit programme in the North East. If either of these fields of learning interest you, pop across to our Courses page to find out more about how you can join one of our programmes.

Rachel Fianko

Having relocated from Colchester to Hampshire, Rachel was in search of a position that offered flexibility to accommodate her family life. Joining Building Heroes at a pivotal moment when her youngest child was on the brink of starting nursery, Rachel prioritised a healthy work-life balance. The opportunity arose when she stumbled upon a job listing for a Centre Coordinator role in Aldershot. Drawing from her background in IT training, Rachel recognised the synergy between her skills and the requirements of the position. Moreover, being married to a soldier, she brought a first-hand understanding of the military community, further enhancing her suitability for the role.

Rachel said: "Looking back over the last two and a half years, I have met some amazing people! It's awe-inspiring to see a group of strangers on day one form wonderful friendships for life over their five-week journey with Building Heroes."

Rachel speaks so highly of Building Heroes and the learners that join the course. She said that one of the main things that stands out is how grateful each and every learner has been for the opportunity that Building Heroes provides.

Rachel said: "The banter and camaraderie is on another level! I will never tire of the question: What should I wear on day one? Followed by my standard answer of clothes! Can I have a beard? Of course! According to one learner apparently, I assume the role of Mother Hen to perfection!"

Rachel thrives when with the learners, and also enjoys the opportunity to support our graduates on their pathway to second careers. And this desire to develop career pathways for our learners is evidenced in her own career progression with Building Heroes, where she is now hard at work as our Head of Employer Partnerships, working with employer partners to identify work experience and job placements for our graduates who want to progress into the construction and property maintenance industry sectors.

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