Guest Speaker: Dave Lee

Dave Lee has been a builder for most of his working life, with over 25 years in the sector. Dave started his career at the bottom with a cleaning job and worked his way up to become a Site Foreman within the construction industry. However, as Dave progressed up the construction career ladder, he found that he struggled with an issue that many people face across all industries – stress.

Dave had a troubled start in life and he experienced a childhood in and out of care. He entered jail for the first time at the age of 15 and this became a regular occurrence throughout his teenage years. After being sent to bail hostel at the age of 19 he started to make positive steps towards a change in his thinking. Building a career and improving his life became a priority for Dave. However, throughout his life Dave battled with an alcohol problem.

In 2006 Dave reached rock bottom. He was deeply unhappy and depressed, drinking heavily and was facing the break up of his marriage. In addition to this, as he progressed up the construction career ladder, he became no stranger to the strain caused by his chosen profession and often felt emotionally, physically and spiritually broken. It was then that he made a conscious decision to turn his life around and he spent the next five years of his life on a journey of self discovery.

Dave tried countless solutions for his problems. He worked his way through many books and courses in a bid to relieve himself of the negative emotions which consumed his life. Dave also noticed that many of the people with whom he worked suffered from similar problems and issues he did, and he wanted to help them. Dave did so for many years by talking to other builders on sites around Britain and sharing the tools that he discovered so that they too could benefit.

Wanting to reach a wider audience, Dave decided he needed to start writing. However, he realised that his target audience of construction workers were more receptive to guides and manuals than books. So Dave Lee became the Hairy Arsed Builder and The Hairy Arsed Builder's Guide to Stress Management was born.

As Dave began to publicise the guide, he found that it was not just builders who appreciated his work. School children found it was something they could read, understand and apply to their lives, as did housewives and people from all walks of life, including his own postman!

One morning, Dave had an unexpected knock at the door. His postman, a man who he had barely spoken to in seven years, was on the doorstep and wanted to speak to him about the guide. He told Dave that his wife had brought it for him and he thought it was fantastic, having already read it twice.

In addition to his guide, Dave has now started a project called The Infinity Foundation. The project aims to work with teenagers to improve their self esteem and personal responsibility with the vision of improving their outlook on life.

Dave recently won the 2013 Guardian Constructive Carers Award, for services to charitable causes and advancing philanthropic endeavours of others.

Hove StressBusters 2nd BIRTHDAY SPECIAL
Hove StressBusters Talk & Demonstration Evening, 2nd October 2013.


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