Astrid Arnold, a carpenter from Newton Abbot in Devon, has reached the semi-finals of Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023.
Astrid, 48, who owns TouchWood South West has been working in the trade for 23 years. Her initial application highlighted Astrid’s professionalism, dedication, and commitment to supporting the future of the industry, securing her a place in the semi-finals for the coveted award.
Astrid started her career at the Women’s Education in Building College, leaving with an NVQ Level 2 in Site Carpentry and Joinery, and going on to work on building sites in London. She started TouchWood South West in 2015.
The TouchWood team of tradeswomen teach a wide range of courses for up-and-coming tradespeople, as well as for DIY-ers, alongside their offering of traditional carpentry services. The firm is also involved in several charitable initiatives including supporting women who are survivors of domestic violence and starting an initiative called ‘Women Build!’ which helps unemployed women with their mental health through carpentry and woodworking.
She will now compete against 26 other top tradespeople from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, who were selected from over 1000 applications, for the chance to be shortlisted as a top 10 finalist.
The top 10 will participate in a one-day final event at Screwfix LIVE, on Friday 22nd September, where a panel of esteemed industry experts will interview the finalists before deciding on who is this year’s champion.
The overall winner will be crowned Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023, and take home the ultimate trade bundle of tools, tech, and training worth £20,000.
Astrid comments: “I’m thrilled to get through to the semi-finals of Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023, particularly knowing how many incredible tradespeople I would have been up against. Reaching the national final in September and winning the award would be great recognition for me and my team.
“I hope to impress the judges with my commitment to supporting future women in the trade and my clear passion for the industry. Outside of my carpentry skills I’ve completed a range of personal and professional development courses to support the growth of my business, and I’ve also undertaken a course in the use of CAD to improve the services we can offer to our customers. I am constantly striving to improve both myself and my business to inspire the next generation of tradeswomen and I hope this will help me get to the final.”
Now in the 14th year of the prestigious award, Astrid aims to join the Top Tradesperson Hall of Fame, alongside reigning champion Toby Peacock who won the competition last year.
Toby, an electrician from Cambridge, has shown himself to be a true ambassador for the trade, launching his podcast ‘Tearoom Talks’ which focuses on improving mental health in the trade.
Jack Wallace, Marketing Director at Screwfix, said: “We know there are many exceptional tradespeople out there who show passion and dedication day in, day out. When choosing our champion of the trade, we look for inspirational tradespeople that go above and beyond for their customers, as well as acting as an ambassador for the industry to encourage the next generation of tradespeople. Through this national award, we hope to recognise the fantastic work of tradespeople who are invaluable to our economy and the communities they serve.
“A huge congratulations to all our semi-finalists – I wish them the best of luck and look forward to meeting our finalists in September!”
To find out more about Screwfix Top Tradesperson, please visit screwfix.com/stt
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