In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony
I talk a lot, a hell of a lot, in this column about the merchant family. About the fact that there are lifelong friendships born of shared experiences at industry conferences, at airport check-in desks, at dinners, at lunches, over numerous gin & tonics and tequila slammers, and at dubious late-night clubs, casinos and Midlands race-tracks (yes, that means you).
Two days last month, one after the other, brought all this home to me. So much so that I’ve even more or less repeated myself in the paper version of this blog, out next week. One of those days was Maddies Day.
Last month, the merchanting and materials manufacturing sectors came together to turn their branding yellow on September 22 to highlight The Maddie Rose Campaign .
The Day marked the jumping off point for the second phase of the campaign which, facilitated by the Construction Youth Trust, aims to open up the market to the next generation as full of career possibilities.
In the first six months of the campaign, it delivered 11 Hidden Careers sessions, supported by 43 different volunteers, spending over 113 hours helping to open up careers in the industry to young people. The benefits of these sessions and this hard work go both ways: young people need to know that there is a massive choice of career pathways for them post-GCSE, post-A Level and post-Further or higher education. Equally, the industry needs these youngsters coming through if we are, to, not just replace those that shuffle off the career coil, but remain a vibrant and relevant industry, one that people aspire to become a part of.
A massive thank you to everyone who has donated, celebrated and shared the Maddie Rose Campaign. As you know, it matters to me on a personal as well as professional level and I’m delighted that the coffers now stand in 6 figures. Over £100,000. It’s incredible, it’s heartwarming, it’s tear-jerking. It’s testament indeed to the way that this industry has come together, as families do, to make positive things happen out of a time of crisis. The funds raised will enable the Construction Youth Trust to raise awareness of the huge variety of jobs available in the suppliers and builders’ merchant sector as well as the wider construction industry, and support young people to overcome barriers and enter the world of work.
Please, please continue to get involved. Download a pack here, have a look at the CYT website, and the Maddie Rose Campaign pages and see what you can bring to the table. Every business out there has something to offer the next generation. This campaign is a mechanism and a framework for helping to do that. We’re giving young people a future in the industry. That’s one hell of a legacy, Maddie, I hope you’re pleased with what we’re doing in your memory.
The rest of the news – Ukraine, the pound, interest rates, GCSEs – is all too depressing, so instead of thinking about all that, allow me to share some of the yellow that happened on Maddie’s Day. This is just a teeny, tiny snapshot of all the effort that was made. It was amazing. Thank you all so much.