December 6, 2022

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SHP Awards

Winner announced for the SHP UK Rising Star award

The SHP Awards judging panel has selected a winner and a highly commended from this year’s Rising Star shortlist. 

Launched by SHP in 2015, Rising Stars commends young health & safety professionals showing drive and determination in the early stages of their careers. The awards have always been open to anyone under the age of 30.

Rising Stars is brought to you as part of the wider SHP Awards, which, for 2022, is once again in collaboration with Shirley Parsons, global HSEQ talent experts.

The winner is…

Jake Newell, Acorn Analytical Services

Jake, 22, joined Acorn Analytical Services as an apprentice in 2021 and he continues to impress his peers with his selfless dedication and commitment to his role. He is young, driven and passionate about what he does and his willingness to learn and educate others about the dangers of asbestos has energised the firm’s entire team.

After completing his training in record time, Jake graduated to the role of Asbestos Analyst, working with clients to ensure projects are run safely and efficiently, always going and above and beyond in his duties to achieve the very best results possible.

Acorn Analytical Services’ Director, Ian Stone said: “From day one Jake has been inspiring. He always wants to know more and fully understand the subject area.”

He is currently working on a huge asbestos management contract with a national client which is worth in excess of £200,000. Rather than be daunted by the prospect he volunteered to take it on and has used it as an opportunity to broaden his skills. He has travelled around the country and taken the lead on every aspect of the project, including client liaison.

Taking every opportunity

While others might have shied away from this responsibility at such a young age, Jake has embraced it, taking every opportunity to educate himself, his clients and those around him, about the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely. Jake said: “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.”

The UK is in the grip of an asbestos epidemic, with many older, post-war buildings still containing this deadly material more than 20 years after it was banned. If we are to fight back, 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.

In a short time, Jake has already done a tremendous amount. As his confidence and knowledge grow, 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 that the work he is doing now will save lives.

Highly commended:

Nuradin Abdulle, Marlborough Highways

Nuradin Abdulle joined Marlborough Highways as an apprentice in June 2021, working in the Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) department as he studies for an industry recognised qualification with Valkyrie Support Services. Amid a sector lacking in diversity and with a shortage of young people, he is a positive role model for anyone considering a job in civil engineering, having overcome a variety of personal and professional challenges to now thrive. Working across a range of health and safety disciplines, Nuradin is passionate about the industry and commands the respect and admiration of his colleagues. In just a short period, Nuradin has made an exceptional contribution to the business and to the communities that he serves, through his hard work, commitment, and insatiable appetite for learning.

Nuradin was the first apprentice deployed to Marlborough’s QHSE team, and actively worked with his manager to help define a programme that would allow him, and future apprentices in the department, to flourish. He quickly adapted to the role, becoming adept at the use of industry tools and procedures, while developing his knowledge of company and sector-specific policy. Staff have been impressed by the way in which Nuardin continually considers the bigger picture, using his initiative to suggest ways of improving existing working practices and always placing the safety and wellbeing of others at the heart of what he does.

He contributes to projects throughout the business, while efficiently managing his academic commitments. His duties include the use of complex health and safety programmes, conducting site visits, liaising with clients, and dealing with suppliers and other stakeholders. While his analytical and problem-solving abilities are essential, it is his interpersonal skills that have allowed Nuradin to excel in the role. His confidence, warmth, and ability to establish and nurture relationships across cultural and social boundaries, has made him an asset to the team.

A fluent Swahili speaker

Nuradin spent his early childhood in the UK, before moving to the Kenyan capital Nairobi with his family, where he spent his formative years. To further his education and to pursue his chosen career, he felt it was necessary to come back to the UK after a decade away. Now a fluent Swahili speaker, Nuradin left his family behind, returning to a country where he knew very few people and no longer spoke English as his first language. Despite the obstacles of being apart from his support network, and having to adapt to a different social environment, Nuradin quickly settled into his new life, making friendships through his love of sport, and enthusiastically committing himself to his apprenticeship role at Marlborough. While others may have felt a sense of isolation or even alienation in such a situation, the support of his new colleagues helped him thrive, with many on Nuradin’s diverse team sharing in his experience of having to adjust to cultural change.

Nuradin began his apprenticeship during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the normally bustling Marlborough office was nearly empty for those first crucial months. Inductions had to be either stripped back or carried out remotely, meaning Nuradin did not always receive the in-person support that a Marlborough apprentice can normally expect. Some of his academic learning was switched to online and any possibility of family visiting him from overseas was ruled out. The pandemic also meant that QHSE working practices were undergoing rapid changes at the time of Nuradin’s starting, including the introduction of new PPE equipment on site and the need to implement social distancing rules. Unphased, Nuradin embraced the turbulent circumstances, helping Marlborough to react quickly to the fast-moving situation, playing a crucial role in the introduction of new health and safety measures.

Nuradin’s apprenticeship has brought benefits to Marlborough and to the wider industry. His presence motivates colleagues, and helps his mentors develop their own training and interpersonal skills, while his ability to learn quickly, allows his manager to delegate him a variety of complex tasks, freeing up resources to improve other parts of the business. The knowledge acquired from his academic course is shared with colleagues through presentations and informal conversations, ensuring that his team is up to date with the latest QHSE theory and trends. Team productivity has increased since Nuradin’s arrival, as has morale, thanks to his infectious personality and sincere respect for staff.

Marlborough and the highways industry have benefitted from the energy and enthusiasm that Nuradin has brought to the company, with his fresh perspectives on logistical challenges. The organisation has adapted his learning to best suit Nuradin’s needs, while helping to address skills gaps within the business, particularly in the use of new digital technologies. Marlborough and the industry have also benefited from Nuradin’s language and relationship-building skills, with his expert ability to relate to people from all walks of life enhancing the way in which the company communicates with clients, stakeholders, and the wider community.

Future of the profession

Commenting on the winner and finalists, Shirley Parsons said, These people are the future of our profession and it’s wonderful to see their passion, commitment and outright talent. This year’s nominations are full of stories of dedication, inspiration and innovation – all traits that will take the nominees far in their careers. Both Jake and Nuradin encapsulate the behaviours that our profession needs to continue to grow and develop. A big well done from myself and the team at Shirley Parsons.”


Amy Louise Arthur, Co-op Property

Amy is currently setting a striking career path as a rising star. She conveys passion, enthusiasm, and commitment towards making a change in health and safety. She joined the co-op as an apprentice, which involved rotations around all parts of Co-op Property, and when she finished, she chose health and safety as her career path. After experiencing the function of RHSE in co-op property, she chose to pursue this area. She has completed a structured volume of academic and construction-related competence, including NEBOSH certificate, SMSTS, and Level 3 Business Administration and Management Apprenticeship. She is now currently working through an NCRQ Diploma in safety management.

She has started to support her journey by becoming a member of IOSH at Associate level and working towards Tech IOSH, with a view already towards giving back experience to the industry around supporting other apprentices and young people in establishing a career that involves health and safety. Amy is also active in a number of campaigns on the topics of apprenticeship awareness, including the government social mobility commission and actively engages with the yearly apprentice cohorts, to discuss and inform on her career to date and the reasons why she pursued a career in health and safety.

Amy’s role is to conduct field-based assurance, coaching and general RHSE support, however, she also goes above and beyond to support the construction retail industry. Co-op Property operates in a client role under CDM, with a multitude of stakeholders and appointments to engage with. Of all of these stakeholders, the supply chain holds the biggest key in order to affect and positively change our culture. Since January 2022, Amy has started to use data to drive change and create a positive impact.

Amy’s reports consists of a variety of data, such as site inspections, PQQ evaluations, supplier management audits, and CDM compliance audits. A piece of work Amy delivered was a review of the Principal Contractor HSE data for 2021. It was compiled from the data from site inspections carried out on our supply chain (302 of them), and established there were 654 failed items, with an average contractor score of 97.2%, she then broke down the data of all the failed areas, sharing it with the commercial contract managers to establish praise or consequence based on the leading/lagging indicators. This exercise had never been done before in the Co-op, and it enabled an insight into how our supply chain were actually performing Vs how we thought they were performing. Amy shared this data exercise back to the entire construction and commercial team in the Co-op, who were amazed at what was presented. The trends and performance allowed us to understand the culture of our supply chain performance, which was invaluable in achieving the best possible standards in retail construction.

She displays natural talent in caring and coaching for others and works to educate and support, rather than simply quote regulations or use a ‘big stick’ approach. Her professional maturity and the difference she makes to others at the age of 19 is incredible,” reads her nomination, affirming her appearance here as a finalist.

Jasmin Campbell, Safety Forward

Jasmin has helped the wider profession by taking part in a LinkedIn group called “The Safety 7” where she has spoken about her career journey, the challenges she faced on getting her first “lucky break” into the profession and encourages other young women from her own similar ethnic background to seek a career in HS. Those in a similar situation have reached out to Jasmin to ask for her advice and guidance. She strongly believes that by sharing her story, she can encourage others to land their dream role.

She has been on a huge personal growth journey from being someone who was shy and struggled with confidence, to someone who has been influential in working with clients to improve workplace health and safety.

Jasmin has benefited the consultancy industry by using her knowledge and experience to educate people regarding the mental health issues affecting the younger generation. In May 2022, Jasmin gave a talk to attendees of a safety knowledge event and spoke about the impact of post-pandemic stress on a young workforce and used her own account of the challenges she faced and how she overcome the personal anxiety that this challenging time had created, which completely engaged the audience.

Hannah Townsend, Amazon

Hannah has consistently demonstrated her passion for the health, safety and wellbeing with everyone she works with – most notably in her passion for first aid education. She took the initiative to become qualified as a first aid trainer and took ownership of the first aid training and provisions on her site. Amazon work in unique surroundings and it is integral that training is compliant with approved standards but also incorporates our work environment.

As a site-based Safety Specialist (equivalent to a junior safety advisor) Hannah drafted a programme in conjunction with Nuco training to ensure that her home site became self-sufficient in the delivery of this first aid training. After evidencing the improvements in both the compliance within her site, and the benefits of delivering training in-house by individuals that understand our buildings and processes, Hannah took it upon herself to secure an extension of this for the entire region. This allowed for nine other locations to replicate this project and gave scope for nine other Safety Specialists to embark on the journey of upskilling and become qualified first aid instructors.

Hannah is an active member of her community where she demonstrates her unwavering commitment to educating young people and providing training and advice around safety and first aid. Hannah volunteers her time to the Nottingham Water Safety Partnership committee and works with local fire and police services to train water safety in local schools through a charity called OWEN (Open Water Education Network), where the aim is to act as a resource for children, young people and adults by providing education and support around water safety. She is a part of a successful ambassador programme in which she is a peer trainer within schools – this is also supported by online platforms including virtual reality experiences.

She volunteers her time to risk assess local waterways, planting thorny trees, providing what3word signage at local waterways, and working to create 360° video footage of currents including how to float to live if you were to fall into open water. Hannah trains others on how to throw lines and rescue aids, teaches diver first aid and oxygen therapy and how to treat and deal with cold shock. This is inspired by a young boy she used to work with at a leisure centre who drowned and lost his life trying to saving his two friends that were playing on a weir.

Lamara Martin, Complete Fixing Solutions

Lamara joined Complete Fixing Solutions in 2020 as an enthusiastic postgraduate with no experience or qualifications in construction or occupational health & safety. She was enrolled on a two- year SHE Technician Apprenticeship, which she completed within 16 months and passed with a Distinction Grade.

Her strong interpersonal skills coupled with her ability to communicate effectively on different levels and provide solid, informed decisions based on factual information, enables her to ensure that those around her feel confident in her ability as a proactive Health & Safety professional. Lamara’s pragmatic approach to health and safety, and willingness to support others with resolving identified safety issues, helps influence a positive attitude towards the health and safety profession.

During unannounced H&S audits of our construction sites, Lamara identified a lack of communication from site management to site staff. After some research and discussion with the H&S Team, Lamara established if site management were provided with readily available digital content, not only would it make it easier for them to access relevant and sufficient information but it would also encourage them to communicate more frequently. Lamara went on to create a ToolBox Talk (TBT) Book with over 100 relevant topics.


Future of the profession

Commenting on the winner and finalists, Shirley Parsons said, These people are the future of our profession and it’s wonderful to see their passion, commitment and outright talent. This year’s nominations are full of stories of dedication, inspiration and innovation – all traits that will take the nominees far in their careers. Both Jake and Nuradin encapsulate the behaviours that our profession needs to continue to grow and develop. A big well done from myself and the team at Shirley Parsons.”

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