Kenyan expat leads NHBC Hope Challenge team to victory

NHBC Hope Challenge 2019
Yvonne with the rest of the winning NHBC Hope Challenge team.

Kenyan expat Yvonne Owour has led a team from the National House Building Council (NHBC) to victory in this year’s Habitat for Humanity Hope Challenge.

12 teams from across the British housebuilding industry converged at Hope Valley in the Peak District where they were tasked with building a sustainable, eco-friendly and upcycled shelter to stay in for two nights, while competing in a series of challenges throughout the weekend to raise vital funds and awareness for the charity.

Major Projects Advisor Yvonne, who won a Women Leaders Award last year, organised and led the team from the company, which included Finance Business Partner Tyrell Gray, Accounts Payable Assistant Neeta Shah, Procurement Coordinator Nick Baxter, Building Inspector Jack Ormiston, and Actuarial Administrator Vicky Moran.

Hope Challenge NHBC Shelter
The Hope Challenge teams get started on their shelters.

The competition judges included Habitat for Humanity Head of Income Generation Tessa Kelly, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland Nicola Barclay and retired Managing Director of Touchstone CPS John Midgley.

Ms Barclay herself taken part in a house building project in Kenya’s Homa Bay earlier this year.

Following the build on Friday afternoon, teams woke early on Saturday to take part in a 15km trek through the Peaks on a very hot and sunny day. En route, they had to complete a number of mental and physical tasks such as designing and building a raft, creating a fire with cotton wool, flint and steel on which they boiled water to make hot chocolate, as well as transporting water using bamboo guttering.

NHBC Hope Challenge 2019
The NHBC team prepare to set off on their Hope Challenge 15km trek through the Peak District.

Teams were also scored on their fundraising efforts, with the NHBC team collecting an incredible £5,368.60 for the charity with Habitat for Humanity Corporate Partnerships Manager Katie Chedgey describing Yvonne as a “fantastic leader” who had been “a key part of this victory”.

In addition to winning the first prize for their shelter, the team were crowned overall winners later in the day with judges saying that their “ambition, enthusiasm and teamwork shone through the whole weekend.”

Hope Challenge NHBC Shelter
The completed Hope Challenge NHBC shelter.

Through their competition winning efforts, the team have won six places on an overseas build with the costs of flights, accommodation, food and flights paid for by sponsors COINS to either Cambodia, Nepal or South Africa where they will build a home for a family in need.

Talking of their experience the team said: “The team all have different backgrounds and skills, which meant we were really dynamic and could play on each other’s strengths. We learnt loads and the enthusiasm was infectious. We’re all so proud of our achievement and we all had this great feeling on Saturday evening when we were celebrating with the other teams.”

NHBC, based in Knowlhill, is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK.

Steve Wood, NHBC CEO, said: “I am extremely pleased to hear of the NHBC team’s success at this year’s Hope Challenge.  Our team worked hard to raise the funds they needed to take part, and clearly this work ethic continued throughout the weekend.  As well as winning the overall competition, they also got the prize for the best shelter, beating off competition from a number of builders along the way.” 

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