Northampton carpenter is crowned Top Tradesperson 2018 by Screwfix

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ScrewfixMore than 3,000 people entered the annual contest, first launched in 2009, but it was Stuart, who trades under the name Abington Home Maintenance who triumphed, impressing judges with his passion, his commitment to customer service and his desire to support adult learners.

Caroline Welsh, director of brand and marketing at Screwfix said: “It was a tough decision this year as our 11 finalists were outstanding in their trade but Stuart’s passion for customer service and dedication to his trade was overwhelming.

“As a late starter into the trade himself he is also devoted to supporting adult learners and plans to recruit and train them so they are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to also succeed. Stuart is a true people’s champion and a very worthy winner.”

For his achievement, married Father-of-three Stuart not only collects the prestigious title of Britain’s Top Tradesperson, he also gets a Mitsubishi L200 Warrior pick-up truck worth £33,000.

He said: “It feels totally surreal. I didn’t have any expectations on Friday and was just determined to enjoy the experience.”

Stuart qualified in both joinery and plumbing after training at night college for six-years after deciding on a career change at the age of 30.

“Putting myself through college while running a family was hard but the support I got from my wife, who is my rock, and my children made me determined to succeed,” he said.

“Because I started from scratch and know how difficult it can be to retrain and learn something new and make that work, I just want to give others the opportunity to achieve the same as I did.

“I love my job and I wouldn’t change it for the world. My customers are my everything because without them I’d be nowhere, that’s why I always aim to deliver the highest standards of service.”

Rob Lindley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK commented: “Reaching the final of any national competition is a huge achievement but to make the grade in a competition as fiercely contested as this, against so many talented and dedicated tradespeople, is truly an accomplishment to be very, very proud of.”

During Friday’s grand-final multi-tradeswoman Christina Valentine from Epsom and heating engineer Ben Kuchta from Nuneaton were also highly commended by the judges.