November 5, 2019
What do you consider to be the greatest feat in business, and why?
Running a successful business that is also socially responsible and delivers tangible benefits back into the community. I have always wanted to develop a socially responsible business, helping people in the North East in some way. I am very proud to have been successful in using our existing businesses to develop Hellens Residential and gaining registration as a private social housing provider. I have the privilege of working every day with lovely people throughout the region, providing good quality affordable homes. Nothing beats a day at work where you have helped a family move into a stable, warm and safe home for the first time.
What is the greatest physical feat you’ve witnessed by an individual, and why?
Tiger Woods winning the Augusta Masters in 2019. Like him or loathe him, to fall so far from grace and fight through all his injury problems to reach the top of his sport again 14 years later is a fantastic achievement. It shows you should never give up.
What about by a group or team?
Most recently it has to be the team of divers that rescued all 12 young footballers and their coach from the cave in Thailand in July 2018. It restored my faith in humanity that a group of people could come together for the first time and so effectively carry out such a dangerous operation to save the lives of people on the other side of the world.
Which demonstration of intelligence/mental strength has most impressed you?
My youngest son leaves me in awe every single day. He has so many difficulties relating to his cerebral palsy to overcome just to do the things most people consider normal. Yet he is so happy with his life. He reminds us that what we perceive as problems are very trivial.
Which act of generosity has inspired you the most and why?
Octavia Hill (1838-1912). She was a social reformer and activist in the late 19th Century.
She committed her working life to those in need at the time, improving housing and welfare for London’s poor. She developed schools, public halls and community centres, while always ensuring the voices of the working people were heard.
One passion of hers was the importance of public open space and playgrounds for the health and wellbeing of the working people. She was a founder member of the National Trust. Many of her causes are as relevant today as they were then. One example is the current Garden Village movement which Hellens is excited to be a part of – providing affordable homes, integrated green spaces, better places for people today to live and work.
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