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Building a better future.

Byline: Echo reporter

WHEN builder Robert Davies was severely injured in a road accident five years ago, he determined then and there that his disability would not stop him from working.

Now - thanks to support from agencies including Venture Wales, Business Connect Caerphilly and Broker Cymru - Robert is managing director of Caerphilly-based Design and Build, an up-and-coming builders firm with a busy order book.

"To just sit back and live off disability benefits would be the easy way out, " said Robert, whose accident left him with permanent injuries to his spine and nervous system and in constant need of crutches to get around. "But living off benefits is not for me."

Robert had worked as a builder for 20 years prior to the near-fatal accident in May 1997. While convalescing, he studied information technology and design at Ystrad College and gained several qualifications including a BTEC National Diploma in IT and AutoCAD 2000 Architectural Design and Drawing certificate.

But although he made more than 60 applications for jobs, he received just one reply.

Undaunted, he decided to apply his new knowledge along with his existing skills as a builder and realise a long-held ambition by setting up his own building firm.

And in July 2001 Design and Build was launched, with Robert in partnership with Anthony Williams, works director, and employing carpenter Carl Davies.

Before launching the company with Robert, Anthony had gained his OND in Construction and AutoCAD 2000 Architectural Design and Drawing certificate at Ystrad College.

Such is the size of Design and Build's order book now that they also regularly sub-contract work to trusted contacts.

The firm undertakes a wide range of design and building work including new builds, renovations, restoration, repairs and exterior work such as laying patios and building garden features.

"We pride ourselves on doing as perfect as job as is possible, " said Robert, who drives a specially adapted car.

"Many people have been very supportive of what we are doing, " he added.

Design and Build is benefiting from continued support from Venture Wales and Business Connect Caerphilly, which provides advice and training on a number of topics, including business planning, tax issues and financial management.

For more information about business support and training in the Caerphilly County Borough area, telephone 01443 866226.

CAPTION(S):

DETERMINATION Left to right, Robert Davies, MD Design & Build, Dave Bevan, regional manager, Venture Wales, and Anthony Williams, Works Director, Design & Build.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 8, 2002
Words:403
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