Stephen Keenan is the perfect example of someone who has struggled against the odds, and is now using his position to help the local community.
At the age of 14, Stephen was expelled from school and told by his teachers he "wouldn't amount to anything". He took the time to train as a builder and roofer and entered the workforce early. His family has a long history of charity work, with his mother winning an MBE for her work in the local community. Growing up, helping others was always part of life, and he knew that was what he wanted to do when he was older, in some fashion.
A few years ago, Happy Days UK was launched by Stephen's brother, Dave Fawcett. Happy Days provides support and accomodation for those in Yorkshire who have struggled with addiction and homelessness in their lives. The team help to raise residents health and wellbeing through the creation of safe spaces and meaningful activity.
Stephen and Dave knew how much money they would have to put in to make the charity a success, and with no guarantees of outside funding they had to be the ones to raise the majority of their capital. As a result, Stephen founded Happy Days Building and Roofing Company, dedicated to supporting the work of the charity. Happy Days Build donates their profits to the charity, and also provides training and work opportunities for those being helped by the charity. Members of the community who've had to tackle homelessness and addiction have found work at Happy Days Building and Roofing, helping them to get back on their feet.
Stephen is a consumate professional, and knew that Happy Days Building & Roofing couldn't just rely on their charitable angle to become a success. Happy Days had to become a renowned building company in their own right, so that they can better support their charity work. To this end, Happy Days Building and Roofing Company have become one of the fastest growing building companies in West Yorkshire. The rapidly expanding team have worked on churches, schools, and now have contracts with some of the country's biggest housing associations. Their continued success all goes to support the work of their charity, which can now help even more residents than ever who are sleeping rough or fighting addiction.
Stephen is a Trade Hero for all of these reasons. At 14, he had left school with no qualifications to his name. To go from there to creating a company that now works on a range of buildings, from historic churches to schools, would be a success story in it's own right. At the same time, being able to raise thousands of pounds through his business to positively impact members of the community most at risk is a testament to the man he is.