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Construction director is award-winning author

Posted onPosted on 29th Apr

Construction director Rich Smith has become an award-winning author after his children’s book When I Grow Up won platinum at the international MUSE Creative Awards.

The dad-of-two, who lives in Sutton, wrote the book as part of his role as business development director at Huthwaite-based construction firm nmcn.

When I Grow Up follows twins Harry and Amy, who are considering their future professions as part of their school careers day competition. The story covers a range of engineering activities and demonstrates to children that without the hard work of those in the construction industry, many other roles would not be possible.

The book was created to inspire bright young minds to consider a career in construction and to address the skills crisis in the sector. It builds on the existing work nmcn has done as part of its Positive Impact Plan, in which it aims to engage with at least 5,000 children by 2025.

Aimed at four to seven-year-olds, the free book has been recognised by celebrity architect George Clarke and BBC DIY SOS star Billy Byrne, as well as other famous faces from the construction industry. It has even had interest from as far away as Australia, with books being sent to schools there.

Rich said: “We are delighted to have won this award and I’m so proud of the whole team, who have worked so hard to make the book the huge success it has been.

“The other winners in the awards are huge global brands such as Disney, BMW, Universal Pictures and Spotify, so to see our name amongst them is incredible.”

Rich, who is dad to five and three-year-old, added: “We hope the creativity of our book captures and motivates children to consider a career in construction and our long-term vision is that the book is the start of a children’s brand, which will grow into something much bigger.”

Kenjo Ong, chief executive of the MUSE Creative Awards, said: “These individuals truly embody the spirit of innovation. It is a privilege to award nmcn for their monumental work.

“It is always a humbling experienceto witness what these creatives are capable of.”

The MUSE Creative Awards, which this year received 3,820 submissions from 50 countries, honours creative professionals whose work transcends beyond modern times and celebrates unique talent for touching the hearts and minds of their audience by creating advertising that transforms, and design that inspires.

To watch the animated version of the book and to download supporting activity sheets, visit: