04 Apr 2017

The Nelson Project Self Builders

The Nelson Project in Plymouth saw veterans’ undertake a 10-week Foundation Level 1 construction course, to allow them to gain the skills needed to self-build their own home. The project was an opportunity for those involved to gain invaluable experience, and a recognised training qualification, to help them gain future employment. The 24-home site includes 12 self-build units for ex-service personnel, six units for people with learning disabilities and six general use affordable homes. If you would like to know how to get involved with a similar project, please email the CSBA's National Director, John Gillespie.

We spoke to the veterans involved in the project about their experiences, and here's what they had to say:


My journey with the self-build has been vast and varied and I enjoyed all aspects of working on site. Through the training opportunities provided by CSBA I have found a natural ability in plastering, something I am helping with daily on site. This is very empowering for me.


As an older, more experienced veteran, I have found that I have been able to help the other self-builders and manage the day-to-day tasks around site. The work and training are valuable commodities and I’ve managed to get involved with the important task of fundraising for this worthy cause.


My transformation as a person is solely down to the help and mentoring that the CSBA and Help for Heroes have given me. I am actively more mobile and the lessons and skills I have learned on site are helping me to become a better person moving forward.


I have enjoyed the experience so far and will start a law degree in the summer with the help and guidance I have received.


My life has been turned around since leaving service and engaging with the CSBA at The Nelson Project. I have completed my gas works training and exams and have been fortunate enough to use my training and skills to seek employment with British Gas.


I have been severely ill for the last 8 months, but the support and help the CSBA has afforded me, has been invaluable to me in my recovery.

The Nelson Project was a partnership between the Community Self Build Agency, local housing association DCH, Plymouth City Council, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). For more information, please get in touch, or read further details about the project here.

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