Roofer receives NRFC award for going above and beyond during lockdown

Roofer receives NRFC award for going above and beyond during lockdown

Professional Builder’s Lee Jones profiles roofer, Andy Hares who went above and beyond for his client in some of the darkest days of last year’s lockdown.

Whilst the pandemic period can’t be said to have had many bright spots there was a certain sense of solidarity within communities. Small acts of individual selflessness restored our faith in humanity at a time when it was much needed, and there were many builders who did their bit. One roofer who epitomised that spirit was rewarded for his efforts with an NFRC National Federation of Roofing Contrators’ award.

“There’s always been a great community spirit within Shrewsbury” reveals the Shropshire-based tradesman, “and that’s something that’s been in evidence during the recent difficulties.” The recipient of the 2020 NFRC Local Hero Award had completed a re-roof for a client around a year before the Covid-19 struck as well as a couple of further guttering projects, but the relationship was destined to continue. “I knew that Jeff’s wife had a serious illness and asked if I could help, and we spent the lockdown running errands, doing shopping for him and supporting wherever we could. Sadly, she passed away last year. Jeff had been looking for a fitting way to thank me and, having heard about the NFRC awards, contacted my wife to let me know that he’d nominated me for it.”

Andy’s humility is as heart-warming as the generous gift of his time as he insists that “it’s something that anyone would have done in that position,” but the judges were sufficiently impressed to reward him with an accolade which celebrates the roofers who have gone above and beyond. It is a category of the NFRC awards that is a welcome antidote to some of the more negative publicity that can often bedevil the industry, and the proprietor of Darwin Roofing is one of many who acted altruistically when it was needed most. “Certainly, where I live there was a lot of people pulling together to help each other out,” he recalls, “and it was nice to see.”

Indeed, Andy’s company is of the kind that has since become all the more integral to the economy and wider society – the local jobbing tradespeople that are helping homeowners fulfil their new-found ambitions to improve their properties and keep UK plc ticking over in the process. The firm undertakes a mix of residential and commercial works around Shropshire and employers a few reliable and highly skilled workers across two gangs of roofers. “At first the lockdown was hard, with long queues of vans at whatever builders’ merchants were open for business and a one in one out policy,” recalls the 37-year-old. “We had a couple of lads on the payroll at the time and wanted to keep going for them as much as anything, but trading conditions were too tough to continue during the worst of it. Like most good roofers, however, we’ve been flat out ever since the restrictions eased.”

With 18 years of experience on the tools Andy is well practised in the art of maintaining client/builder relationship and believes there is no substitute for honest communication and reliability. “You’ve got to base everything on being straight with people,” Andy concludes, “and that goes for price transparency, and making sure you deliver what you’ve quoted. A recurring theme with the public is that they want tradespeople to turn up when they say they’re going to and do a good job. We make sure our lads do just that and are polite and kind to the customers. It sounds simple but if you get that right it’s the basis for everything that follows.”

For further information on Darwin Roofing visit

For further information on the National Federation of Roofing Contractors’ (NFRC) Awards visit

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