Mental health champion named construction’s Rising Star 2024

Rising Star Jessica Haskett, middle, with broadcaster June Sarpong OBE, left, and Alice Graham of Procore (Courtesy of CIOB)
A passion for supporting colleagues with their mental well-being helped Kier Construction’s design manager Jessica Haskett scoop the Chartered Institute of Building’s coveted Rising Star award.

She was honoured at the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) glittering CIOB Awards ceremony in London on 9 April at the Hilton Metropole hotel.

She was recognised for her work supporting the construction of a children’s mental health facility in Dorset where she championed the use of sustainable materials and led net-zero carbon workshops.

But outside of her day-to-day role as a design manager, Jessica can often be found supporting both her colleagues and members of the supply chain with their mental health.

Statistics from mental health charity Mates in Mind highlight the overwhelming anxiety construction workers face, with nearly a third of workers revealing they face elevated levels of anxiousness every day.

Jessica said: “Thank you to the CIOB for choosing me as the winner of the Rising Star award, it is my greatest professional achievement to date – especially as it came so early in my career – and it is a great reminder that belief, collaboration and innovation all go hand in hand.

“With the support of my colleagues and my network I have been able to encourage an environment of empathy and understanding where everyone feels supported, whether that’s problem solving on a project or support with their mental health.”

David Rowsell, managing director of Kier Construction London, added: “We are so proud of Jessica for winning the CIOB Rising Star Award. She is an asset to Kier, not only in her role as a design manager but also for her work in tackling mental health, an issue that remains a priority in construction.”

She was described by her colleagues as an innovative and professional team leader who is determined to promote sustainability in the construction sector.

In 2020, she led a student team to the finals of the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition, a contest where competitors must design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings.

Caroline Gumble, CEO at CIOB, added: “Firstly, I would like to say a huge congratulations to Jessica for winning the Rising Star award. I do not doubt that she is one to watch for the construction industry and I look forward to seeing her career flourish.

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