To kick off our new ‘Meet the Team’ feature and as our Gatwick office celebrates its fifth birthday, we catch up with Beckie Ellis, an original and constant member of the Gatwick team.
Why did you choose construction as you career path?
My route into construction was pretty unconventional. I completed a Policing degree at Canterbury (Christchurch) University. I had been in the Special Constabulary since the age of 18 and had planned to join the Force on graduating. I joined HB Projects, initially as a temporary stop gap, to see me through the 9-month application process.
I’m still here!
What did the Gatwick team consist of at the start?
There were six of us in the team when the office opened. I joined as Commercial Admin Assistant, supporting the QSs on our Asda and Co-op projects.
As we got busier, the team grew and I took on the role of office manager. This was great as it meant that I was involved in all areas of the business. This is when I became interested in the compliance aspects of our projects.
So, this was the start of your journey into health & safety?
Yes. I decided to take my National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) exams in 2017, which then opened up the opportunity to move into H&S full time. I’ve also completed my IEMA Foundation Certificate exam which has given me a grounding in the sustainability and environmental aspects.
What is it that you enjoy about compliance and health & safety in particular?
I really enjoy supporting our projects throughout the entire process. All the way through from tender stage to post delivery. The role is really varied and allows me to provide on-site support to Site Managers and Operatives as well as learn from them. Believe it or not, it’s not all about PPE and being the safety police on site!
The recent requirements put in place following the Covid-19 pandemic is a great example of how we need to be flexible whilst always putting the wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and the public first.
There’s been lots of changes in the last year or so.
Yes. It’s pretty much a new team to this time last year. We’re collaborating and working well together, it’s an exciting time.
There are 15 of us now. Wayne (Harris) has brought lots of valuable experience to the management of the team and we’re all benefitting.
We’re going from strength to strength. Retail clients are the mainstay of our work. Another relationship that has great potential is with a client that works work with the NHS and other organisations from private and public sector, on energy projects.
What’s next for Beckie.
I’m getting more and more involved in the sustainability and environmental elements and I’m keen to pursue this further. This is an area that will become more and more important for all of us. I’ve also completed my Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 which gives me a great grounding from which to develop.
Lots to look forward to!