Meet the Mentor! February 2018

Each month we are introducing the wonderful mentors that support the Big Ideas programme, in a feature we are calling ‘Meet the Mentor’.  The programme and the students on it simply would not be the same if we didn’t have this mentor support from our business partners, and the mentors themselves get an awful lot out of it too.

Find out more about the range of interesting and diverse mentors we work with on our Meet the Mentors page on the website!

Allow me to introduce one of our Mears Group mentors from the North England & Scotland region – Kevin Holden.

Name: Kevin Holden

Position: Assistant SHEQ Director – Safety, Health, Environmental & Quality (SHEQ), Mears Group PLC


· Please describe your role: 

My role is to assist and support in developing, defining and implementing Health and Safety strategy, policy and procedure across all group companies.; to assist in the recruitment, management and implementation of the SHEQ team.; and to ensure that Mears fully complies with all Health, Safety and Environmental legislation.

· Please describe your route to this role:

I joined Mears in November 2007 where I was initially employed as the Regional SHE Manager for the North East. After a very successful period I was appointed Head of SHEQ (East, North & Scotland). I carried out this role until I was appointed Assistant SHEQ Director in October 2015. To enable me to carry out my role effectively, I have completed a number of Training Courses with some of the key ones being as follows:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety

NEBOSH Certificate in Construction Safety and Health

NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management

IEMA Associate Certificate

Each of these courses is readily available locally via colleges, universities and also training providers. Funding is also available via employers as part of your individual personal development.

· What advice do you have for young people interested in either following a similar route to you or in working for your business/sector?

Health & Safety is a very rewarding job and one which gives me great satisfaction. It is a great profession to be part of and one which I would encourage students to pursue.

· Why did you get involved in S4TP’s Big Ideas programme?

I was initially introduced to the programme by my employer who was keen to support this. I felt that by participating in this programme I could pass on some transferable skills to the students involved within my local region.

· What involvement have you had so far?

I have been involved in the programme since November 2017. So far I have attended a Big Ideas Training Session in addition to the Big Ideas Day and also two development sessions at King James I Academy.

· Has participating met your expectations?

To date participating in the programme has met my expectations and I have gained what I expected to from this programme.

· What has been the best part about participating in the programme?

The best part of participating in the programme is being able to assist the students with developing their projects and offering them advice as and when required.

· What has been the most challenging part about participating in the programme?

For me personally the most challenging part of the programme was going into a new school for the first time and trying to interact fully with everyone involved.

· What have you learnt, through participating, about yourself, the company and sector you work for, young people, schools and skills development? 

I have learned that there are a lot of transferable skills which I possess which can be communicated to the students to assist them in making their projects come to life.

· What would you say to others considering participating in the programme?

It is a very worthwhile programme and is certainly worth local companies investing their time and support, to ensure that the students within the local regions are being provided with the valuable assistance and skills required, to enable them to develop their projects but also to improve their on-going personal development.


We are proud and grateful to have you on board Kevin – thank you for all your help!

Answers written by: Kevin Holden, Assistant SHEQ Director – Safety, Health, Environmental & Quality (SHEQ), Mears Group PLC

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.