VIY Lead Mentor Alan nominated for Role Model Award

12 May 2023 | All News

Alan Dalton, one of our longest-serving Lead Mentors, has been shortlisted for UK Construction Week’s Role Model Award – celebrating individuals with a great story who are making a difference to the construction industries, with an ultimate aim to attract others into similar roles by sharing inspiring stories and career journeys.

With a few months to wait to see who is crowned the winner at UK Construction Week in Birmingham in October, hear a little more about Alan’s story here.

Meet our Mentors here

Tradesperson to Mentor

After a tough upbringing in care, Alan began carpentry at 17. Following years at London firm, Ideal Handyman, Alan joined us in 2016 thanks to another of our longest-serving Mentors, Bill.

With us, Alan began mentoring young people who, like him, haven’t had the smoothest start in life; not in education, employment or training (NEET), or at risk of disengaging, needing a different pathway in life. With VIY, by helping young people to learn trade skills whilst renovating community spaces, he discovered a love for teaching and upskilling the next generation in construction, and has been a Lead Mentor for over four years.

Here, Alan shares what VIY means to him seven years later and how he’s become a role model for the construction industry:

“The main reason I switched from working flat out on building sites is the learners. Targets, budgets, timescales still exist, but it’s all about those learners on site. It just works, I’ve helped thousands of young people on well over 100 projects. Mentoring is unique, it’s not just showing them how to use tools. Whether it be life advice, switching from PAYE to self-employment or telling them about trades and the potential future earnings. I don’t think I’d be the real me without VIY and being able to help all these young people – getting them into a better place than when they met us.”

Developing the next generation

One of Alan’s proudest achievements has been developing young tradespeople like Jada, one of the Junior Skills Mentors who joined us through the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme. She’s now been employed by VIY for over a year following Alan’s mentoring.

“A little bit of inspiration is what Jada gives me each time I work with her. Just like when you’re building something, I get that same sense of accomplishment when I see Jada mentoring, furthering her own ambitions to become a leading female in the trade.”

Mentor to Mentor

Just like Alan and Jada, Bill acted as Alan’s own Mentor in the trade, helping him through tough times and into the job he loves so much with VIY. Here Bill talks about his lifelong friendship with Alan:

“As well as all of the young people I’ve volunteered alongside through VIY, I’ve made friends for life. Before VIY, I mentored a guy in my local area, got him into the trade with me away from trouble and we struck up a great working relationship. I was building my own next generation in the trade. When I started working for VIY, I brought him with me and now that man is Alan Dalton, VIY Lead Mentor [pictured above together]. We’re still great friends now, more like father and son.

“Alan is a real example of how we can build the next generation, through volunteering, nurture and mentoring. Whether that be a tradesperson becoming a VIY Trade Mentor or one of the young people we work with, VIY makes a real difference to people’s lives and their community.” 

Alan also starred in Channel 4’s 2018 mini-series ‘Building Britain‘; a four-part documentary where he became a VIY role model.

Fancy being our next role model?

If you’ve been inspired by Alan and would like to find out more about doing #SomethingConstructive with VIY as a Trade Mentor, hit the button below.

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