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YouthBuild Ventures UK, London, United Kingdom

Finding Her Place in the World

After enrolling in YouthBuild Ventures UK, Helen Hewa found the connections and support she needed to enter the construction industry and overcome the trauma of her past.

Twenty-one-year-old Helen Hewa came upon YouthBuild during a difficult time in her life. After enrolling in traditional training programs focused on construction and the built environment, she felt unsupported and let down by the lack of opportunity for women.

I had too many doors slammed in my face,” she said. “I was left isolated and completely alone. I genuinely thought that maybe this industry is not for me.

But upon hearing about YouthBuild Ventures UK from a friend, she decided to give a career in construction another shot. She worked to secure a spot in the upcoming local cohort and soon found the training, connections, and support systems she needed. Helen was exposed to tiling, dry lining, painting and decorating, and various personal and professional development opportunities. She met with contractors from Wilmott Dixon, Stone Contracts, A T Jones, and others, who provided professional advice and mentorship. But perhaps most importantly, she found personal support to overcome the trauma of past domestic abuse.


During her time at YouthBuild Ventures UK, Helen was empowered with tools for personal and professional growth. She cites YouthBuild as the biggest positive change in her life.


The forward-thinking support Helen needed was lacking no more. When the YouthBuild Ventures UK staff notified her of an opening with A T Jones as a trainee site manager, she jumped at the opportunity. She applied – and was accepted. Now, Helen is employed with a growing company that values her skills, perspective, and work ethic.

She tells young women in similar situations to never lose sight of their futures.

Stay focused and keep positive, even in the face of knock backs,” Helen said. “I look forward to progressing within this industry and being able to share my story with other young ladies.

Watch the YouthBuild Ventures UK video.

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