Over the past decade, Building Heroes, the leading UK tri-service, military-to-construction charity, has played a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the armed forces community and civilian employment. For ten years, they have facilitated a seamless transition for ex-military members looking to build fulfilling careers in the construction industry.
As a Queen’s Award-Winning charity, its primary goal is to combat the risk of unemployment among veterans. They offer funded, fast-track construction skills training and employment support programmes across England and Wales to accomplish this. These programmes enable learners to attain nationally recognised qualifications in five weeks, including entry-level construction skills, street works, groundworks, and green skills training.
Brendan Williams, Founder and Chief Executive, said:
“From its inception, Building Heroes has been about improving the lives of our Armed Forces Service Leavers, Veterans, and their families. We have experienced a remarkable trajectory of growth since we launched in 2013. Throughout our journey, we have partnered with and built strong relationships with the Ministry of Defence, educational partners, industry partners, sponsors, and volunteers, who have helped Building Heroes become the charity it is today. We are very grateful for their continued support.”
As Building Heroes celebrates its 10th anniversary, they reflect on the incredible journey and the special moments they have observed while looking forward to an exciting and impactful year.
A significant milestone in Building Heroes’ journey is the prestigious recognition of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Promoting Opportunity. The organisation proudly accepted this honour on December 5, 2023, during a ceremony at the County Hall in Chichester. They received an emblem, a Grant of Appointment (official certificate), and a commemorative crystal trophy presented by HRH, The Duke of Gloucester.
Upon approval of the Prime Minister, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth provided the royal seal of approval, underscoring Building Heroes’ commitment to facilitating the successful transition of individuals from military life to thriving civilian careers.
(Following the passing of Her Majesty in September 2022, the award has now been renamed The King’s Award for Enterprise, preserving the legacy of the Queen’s Awards.)
The Queen’s Award is a prestigious recognition valid for five years, solidifying the charity’s position as one of the most reputable and impactful organisations to work with and support, and affirms their unwavering commitment to fostering social mobility and empowering the armed forces community in their journey toward successful civilian lives.
Through the dedicated team and partners, Building Heroes has seen success, with over 3,000 individuals going through their programmes, with a high proportion (on average, 73%) of these individuals going on to find employment within the construction industry. Each year, they generate up to £17 million in social value across its 13 training locations, with each learner contributing up to £20,500 of social value.
James Wilson, Group Managing Director, said:
“We offer our congratulations to Building Heroes on winning the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise. It’s a truly well-deserved accolade and a testament to their unwavering dedication to the military community.
“Davidsons Homes’ partnership with Building Heroes is a huge source of pride not only for me, but for the whole company. Since we launched the Building Heroes Academy in 2021, we have seen 130 veterans graduate from our centre alone, with 73 percent of those going on to find employment within the construction industry. To witness the tangible difference Building Heroes is making to the lives of veterans and service leavers across England and Wales is incredibly rewarding and we look forward to many more years working with the foundation.”
So what’s in store for 2024?
Looking ahead to 2024, Building Heroes remains dedicated to serving the Armed Forces in collaboration with education and industry partners. In addition to the ongoing successful courses, the organisation is excited to launch new training programmes. These include updated Plant training programmes to support employment opportunities in construction and infrastructure, as well as Green Skills/Retrofit Surveyor/Assessor programmes aimed at contributing to the UK’s 2050 decarbonisation targets and the government’s net-zero strategy.
As part of the 10-year anniversary celebration, Building Heroes plans to showcase inspiring narratives and case studies from learners and coordinators spanning several years. The goal is to motivate and encourage new individuals to embark on the initial journey from military to civilian life.
Marking the official ten-year milestone on October 16, 2024, Building Heroes is eager to celebrate with a gathering that brings together the Building Heroes family. This includes the dedicated team, learners, coordinators, partners, sponsors, volunteers, donors, trustees, and anyone else who has made an impact on Building Heroes. Details will be announced in the coming months.
Building Heroes is committed to maintaining partnerships with industry stakeholders and the broader community, creating life-changing opportunities for those who have dutifully served the nation. The organisation’s collaborative efforts will continue, ensuring an even more significant impact over the next decade.