Stephen, or better known as ‘Rocky’ on site, didn’t have the easiest start in life. Discharged from the army at 20 years old for a gambling addition, his life unfortunately took a number of turns involving alcohol, drugs and time in prison.
Struggling to overcome his past trauma, it wasn’t until 2015 that things began to change.
Rocky joined us as a labourer on the Met Office Supercomputer project, and in those five years, he has turned his life around. He is now sober, clear of gambling, and is the CEO of his own charity.
Inspired by a three-month volunteering trip to Uganda, Rocky started ‘Challenge Child Poverty’ to raise money for children suffering from extreme poverty around the world.
Rocky explains: ‘‘I have always been hard working and Simon Whittingham, Operations Manager at Willmott Dixon saw something in me and gave me the opportunity to come on board as a labourer. The whole team have helped me, not only to turn my life around; they helped me to be in a better financial position, which enabled me to set up my charity.”
Despite the challenges of juggling a full-time job and being the CEO of a charity, Rocky doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“It is really important to be part of the team; it taught me how I wanted to be when I ran my own business,” he said. “I have learnt not only a lot about construction, because I have worked every trade over the last five years, but I have learnt how to treat others.
“I have been part of the Willmott Dixon team since day one, that is what has kept me here and if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be where I am today, and that is major.’’
Rocky is now planning to run 4,800 km across Africa. You can find more about Challenge Child Poverty here.