Skip to content

Dylan’s Story

Youthbuilders’ Stories

From a young age Dylan was exposed to a violent homelife, with a father who was physically abusive to Dylan's mother and subsequently her boyfriends who were violent to both Dylan and his mum.

Finding the Path

From a young age Dylan was exposed to a violent homelife, with a father who was physically abusive to Dylan’s mother and subsequently her boyfriends who were violent to both Dylan and his mum.

Later Dylan had stability at home with his stepdad who looked after him and his mum, but he died suddenly. Dylan’s stepfather’s death had a major impact on Dylan’s life. He found it difficult to cope, getting into trouble with the police and being excluded from school several times.  

But after leaving school Dylan began to get his life together, motivated by the desire to repair his strained relationship with his mum and to help support his mum and younger sister. With that goal Dylan grabbed the opportunity to begin his career path in construction as a painter and decorator on a Barnardo’s ETS course.

Building a Career

The Barnardo’s in-centre course sealed Dylan’s commitment to a career in construction. He spent eight months on the course, mostly on placement with decorating company, West Dec—four days a week, with one day in-centre gaining his qualification and studying maths and English. Dylan gained a Level 1 Certificate in Painting and Decorating with merits and distinctions, as well as passing FS Level 2 maths and Level 1 English. 

Taking pride in every job, Dylan learned to always finish his work to a high standard. During his time on the course, Dylan not only learned trade skills, but he also learned about the importance of personal responsibility and teamwork.

Dylan explains: “Teamwork is vital especially when I’m working on new build houses. We have to work with other trades and plan our work. It’s very important that I am a reliable team member so that deadlines don’t slip.”

Dylan worked hard to gain his qualifications and developed a positive, can-do attitude to working on-site, taking responsibility for himself and others. Derek West at West Dec spoke highly of Dylan’s work ethic: “Dylan has an excellent attitude. His time keeping and attendance are both excellent. He loves painting and decorating and wants to learn every aspect of the trade.”

Dylan also demonstrated leadership qualities by helping his peers. Derek West continued: “Dylan has worked with other less able learners when in-centre to help them improve the quality of their work.”

Young Builder of the Year

Dylan’s outstanding professional attitude and diligence in his work, his determination and success in overcoming a difficult start in life, lead to his nomination for the 2019 YBUK Young Builder of the Year Award. 

Making it as a finalist, Dylan attended the awards ceremony at the House of Commons, along with the other finalists and his very proud mum, as well as invited guests from the construction industry and MPs.

At the awards ceremony, Dylan was announced the winner of the 14–18-year-old category, receiving a prize of £1,000 worth of professional tools.

Looking Forward

Dylan went on to serve a two-year apprenticeship at West Dec to become a fully-fledged tradesman. Dylan is ambitious. He has definite plans for the future, with an ultimate goal of owning his own painting and decorating company.  

We were very happy to see Dylan win the Young Builder of the Year Award. We congratulate him on his remarkable journey and wish him every success in realising his ambitions in the construction industry.

Related insights

Youthbuilders’ Stories

Nick’s Story

2019 Young Builder award winner Nick’s mother passed away when he was young, leading to an unsettled upbringing, with Nick’s home life eventually becoming untenable…

Read more

Interested in supporting Youthbuild UK?

Discover more about supporting Youthbuild UK and how you can help disadvantaged young people succeed.

Contact us