Guy Norton: ‘It has always been important to me to ensure that my work with CRASH makes a difference and best utilises my experience in the construction industry’

Photo: CRASH honours Arcadis secondees at Annual Patrons’ Reception

Guy Norton is an Associate at Arcadis, an international design and consultancy firm, who volunteered to be seconded to CRASH Charity alongside his day job as a Project Advisor in 2017. During his time at CRASH, Guy has donated his time and professional expertise to help homelessness charities and hospices make informed decisions about their construction projects. Guy shares his experience of what the secondment has meant to him.

How would you describe the secondment in three words?

Diverse, interesting and valuable.

What made you choose the secondment?

As part of my career progression I wanted to gain experience of working in the charitable sector, but it was important to me to ensure that whatever I did made a difference and best utilised my experience in the construction industry. The opportunity to work with CRASH was perfect in this respect.

What have you learnt?

Before working with CRASH I had no idea the majority of hospices (about 90%) across the country are independent charities reliant on support from individuals and local communities rather than the NHS. I also had a stereotypical view of homelessness charities and hospices, whereas in reality they are vibrant welcoming places providing a great range of services and facilities to support and care for their users.

What has been your biggest achievement?

I’m very proud of how our project reports have developed during my time working with CRASH and the positive feedback we have received from the charities we visit. I quickly learnt how important the reports are to the individual charities, as even if CRASH is unable to assist with a project the applicant still receives bespoke advice and guidance to help them consider their next steps.

How has the secondment helped with your career progression?

My work with CRASH has helped me to expand my professional network within Arcadis at a senior leadership level and with other patron organisations through events arranged by CRASH. It is a great addition to my CV when considering my next move within Arcadis. The Projects Advisor role has also helped me to refine my report writing and presentation skills, as we are working with an inexperienced client base from a construction perspective on a wide variety of projects and topics.

What do you think is unique/special about CRASH?

The charities we visit are experts at what they do, but they are not construction professionals and are often unaware of the necessary steps they need to take to deliver a project. CRASH is unique in the way it assists other charities through focusing on providing professional services and materials for projects through its patron companies rather than just being a grant giver. As a comparatively small charity, CRASH has a massive reach and helps thousands of individuals every year, which is very special.

Why would you recommend the secondment with CRASH?

My work with CRASH has allowed me to do something completely different to my day job. I have had opportunity to travel across the country and help some fantastic charities who make real difference in the communities they work in. The role has helped me develop existing and new skills and encouraged me to refresh areas of construction and technical knowledge I’ve not used for some time. I have also expanded my professional network and recognition within the company, which is a great benefit for career progression.