February 8, 2023

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SHP’s Rising Star UK: “Winning the award has really helped to boost my confidence.”

As the country celebrates National Apprentice Week we shine the spotlight on Jake Newell, the 2022 winner of SHP’s Rising Star UK Award.

Jake Newell, Asbestos Analyst at Acorn Analytical Services is the winner of SHP’s Rising Star UK award, which recognises the brightest and most passionate young health and safety professionals in the UK. 

Since joining the company as an apprentice in 2021, Jake has impressed everyone around him with his selfless dedication and commitment to his role. He takes every opportunity to develop his skills while educating others about the dangers of asbestos. 

Jake said: “Winning the award has really helped to boost my confidence and I’m really grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity.” 

Director, Ian Stone is delighted with Jake’s success and the significant progress he has been in a short space of time. “From day one Jake has been inspiring,” Ian said, “He always wants to know more and fully understand the subject area. He consistently goes above and beyond his duties to complete his work. When training, he always put in extra hours in evenings and weekends of study. Jake is very investigative, he always asks questions so that he has a full grasp of something.

“He’s conscientious and wants to know about other people’s roles and how they all affect the output of what we do at Acorn. Since passing his qualifications he has continued to develop, working through other areas of knowledge within the Asbestologist Training Academy. Jake wants to be a fully-rounded asbestos consultant and I have no doubt in my mind that he will get there and achieve this in a relatively short period of time.” 

“Winning the award has really helped to boost my confidence and I’m really grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity.” 

Rather than shy away Jake embraces every opportunity. Recently he has been working on a huge asbestos management contract with a national client worth in excess of £200,000. He has travelled around the country and taken the lead on every aspect of the project, including liaising with the client to provide vital updates on progress.  

Jake continues: “Learning more about asbestos has definitely changed the way I look at things. I was really surprised to learn how many different products contain asbestos. When I’m at home now or visiting my friends, I’m looking around for asbestos and pointing it out to them. When you learn about asbestos you want to share that knowledge with others.” 

Asbsetos continues to be an issue for the UK, with many older, post-war buildings still containing the material. “If we are to fight back,” Ian said, “we need more people like Jake, with the same enthusiasm and determination to succeed, to spread the word and ensure asbestos eventually becomes a thing of the past. 

“As Jake’s confidence and knowledge grows, he is willing to share it with everyone around him, whether that’s friends, family, clients or colleagues. He is raising awareness of asbestos among a new generation – many of whom were not even born when asbestos was banned in new buildings more than 20 years ago. 

“The impact of Jake’s hard work and dedication may not be fully understood for many years to come but there is no doubt in our minds that the work he is doing now will save lives in the future.” 

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