Ross Newton

This week Wiltshire College & University Centre graduate Ross Newton shares his heart-warming journey to a new career.

‘Since leaving the military I have faced many obstacles. I have had various jobs since leaving the military, across different sectors, and wasn’t really progressing anywhere until I completed the Building Heroes course.

‘The people on the course were fantastic and the instructors at the college were great. Following on from the course I have spent a few months volunteering my time to a few different building sites and tradesman doing carpentry. This included some work experience with Self Build Heroes which was arranged through Building Heroes.

‘I have now landed my dream job, as I have been accepted on the Trainee Assistant Site Manager Armed Forces Transition Scheme with Barratt Developments plc.

‘I would like to thank Building Heroes for everything. I was in a bad place having lost my job due to Covid, and was seriously stuck in a rut. I now have a new career – which is what I have been wanting ever since leaving the Army.’

Chris Grubb

Learning Curve Group, Middlesbrough graduate Chris tells Building Heroes he’s loving his new career!  

‘I started my Resettlement journey 2 years ago and I had planned all my courses – from carpentry and hard landscaping to tiling and bricklaying courses – in pursuit in starting my own handyman business.  

‘Unfortunately, the pandemic led to the cancellation of all these courses. Thankfully, I had the Building Heroes Property Maintenance course to fall back on, and it gave me the skills and confidence to pursue my dream of running my own business.  

‘I have now started that business and I’m loving every minute. I am fully booked for the next 3 months!  

‘I highly recommend doing the Building Heroes course and loved my time in Middlesbrough, with great support from all the instructors and supporting staff.’ 

Dean Horton

Our graduate Dean Horton on how our Construction Skills course helped him find employment.

“There was a lot I enjoyed about the Building Heroes course, it really was a fantastic course, well organised and the tutors were excellent. Since the course, I applied for a job as a Trainee Assistant Site Manager with Barratt Developments and I was successful.

“Since starting my new role, I have utilised so many skills from the course as well as the knowledge I gained from the course. I am able to manage and communicate effectively with the trades on site because of the insight the course gave me; having a basic knowledge of what the trades do and how they do it has given me a lot of credibility which I never would have had without the course.

“I enjoy the working environment, which is very similar to the military environment. I enrolled on the course with a plan to be self employed as a handy man, however, the course gave me such a fantastic insight into the construction industry and opened my eyes to other opportunities. I am eternally grateful for the experience and how it has led me to where I am now.

“The Building Heroes course has, without doubt, contributed to me being successfully employed in the construction industry and in a job that has excellent prospects. I am truly thankful to the Charity.”

Nathan Blewer

“Essentially, I was looking for a new career direction. I was medically discharged from the Royal Tank Regiment after serving for 13 years. Unfortunately, Tank Commanding isn’t a requirement in Civilian life!

I was keen to learn a trade, and had already decided to train as an electrician. However, having multi- trade skills has allowed me to carry out a wider, broader scope or work, and has meant that I haven’t had to call out other trades either prior to or post installation work.

After completing the Building Heroes Programme and Level 2 & 3 City & Guilds electrical course, I have completely refurbished a house from plumbing, electrics, central heating, plastering, kitchen and bathroom. The house hadn’t been touched for nearly 30 years, and 90% of it relied on skills I had learnt on the course. 

Having worked for a local contractor to hone my skills I have now founded by own company called ‘Urban Electrical and Plumbing Ltd’. This has all really been down to the skills learnt on the Building Heroes course.

The course not only gave me a new skill set, it also helped me decide on a specific direction to train in, equally importantly it also gave me the assurance to try something I wouldn’t have before. 

It is all about having confidence, confidence to try something new, and then more importantly confidence to get out and do it!”

James Denton

Building Heroes has been a great stepping stone for me towards a career in property maintenance.

Each part of the course was expertly taught by the instructors along with helpfull tips to complete ongoing diy jobs at home on the weekends.

The best thing about Building Heroes is that it takes you away from the military environment that you seem to get on other resettlement course.

With ongoing support from the team after completion of the course and the connections they have within the building industry this has given me a platform to work on with setting up my own business.

I have and will continue to recommend Building Heroes as a must do as part of anyones resettlement

Ben Norfolk

The biggest thing would be the confidence the course gave me to push on with my move beyond the Service. Somehow during my recovery, I had lost the belief in myself & what I was capable of doing – Building Heroes helped me to regain the trust in my own abilities and move forward with a greater determination towards the next stage in my life. It was the kickstart I needed to take control & responsibility for my own future.

Tom Stimpson MBE

I served in the Royal Airforce for 26 years. I was medically discharged in January 2014. The Building Heroes course has brought me lots of new skills and confidence. I am hoping to go on and further my knowledge of the building trades. It’s been one of the best courses I have been on. I have learnt; Plastering Tiling, Painting and Decorating, Carpentry and hopefully I will go to self-employment with the skills I have learnt.


Sam Chapman

The Building Heroes course has been great for me. It has given me a wide range of skills and knowledge which will help me set up my own maintenance business. The course, staff and tutors have be great couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to share this experience with.

It has given me a wide range of skills and knowledge…EVERYTHING HAS BEEN BENEFICIAL TO ME.

Mark ‘Lofty’ Taylor

Mark served in the army for 25 years before being medically discharged in 2013. His final operation took place in Iraq in 2004 where Mark and his fellow comrades came under sustained fire for six weeks, during this horrific time Mark unfortunately, lost a good friend. Returning from Iraq, Mark was diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, due to anger and depression. Mark openly confessed he could not be a soldier anymore, as well as the husband and father he once was. This had a dramatic impact on Mark resulting in a suicide attempt and an 8 week hospital stay.

Mark was placed with Help for Heroes for his last year in the army. Help for Heroes helped Mark decide his next steps in employment, where Mark realised the construction industry was his next career path. Mark decided to set up his own business called Hero Handy Man™. However, without qualifications or expert experience, doubts started to run through his mind. Mark was put in touch with Building Heroes. Mark is very grateful for the help he has received:

Thank you to the people who supplied the funding for Building Heroes. It has allowed me to enter back into the job market which is absolutely fantastic; I am looking forward to what the future holds.