Marten Lewis, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Bluestone

I left school at 16 after a disengaged time in education. I took the apprenticeship route through the Armed Forces and joined the Royal Engineers as an apprentice Electrical Engineer. Spending 2 years in the Army before continuing work as an engineer.

Aged 28 I made a career change - returning from Cardiff to Pembrokeshire to study a Degree in Coastal Zone Management. Achieving 1st Class Honours.

During my study I volunteered at the Darwin Centre, a charity which aimed to engage and enthuse children and communities in STEM. A charity I proudly led as Executive Director for several years. Completing a Masters in Management aged 38.

I founded the Darwin Experience, a programme which provides hands on experiential learning opportunities through field trips and workshops, themed around sustainable development in coastal areas.

In 12 years at the Darwin Centre I engaged over 50,000 community members, including 35,000 young people. www.darwincentre.com

Successfully raising over £1M of private sector funding for STEM/sustainability related education. Winning the Welsh and UK Responsible Business Awards, the South Wales Chambers of Commerce Education Award, and personally being recognised nationally as an outstanding leader and educator (Leadership Wales and the Institute of Welsh Affairs).

I am particularly proud of my Chairmanship of the VC Gallery - which uses art engagement to support social exclusion, PTSD, poverty, and wellness for veterans and the wider community. 

www.thevcgallery.com