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Dr Douglas Nisbet
I was working as a volunteer at the Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal, Uganda when Martin and John, the founders of ‘One Brick at a Time’, came to visit. Following a tour around some schools and community health buildings, the OBAAT pilot project was selected at Kyakatara Primary School. On return to the UK, I have continued to support OBAAT and as a member of the Board have been promoting OBAAT as a delivery partner for Rotary Club projects.
My earlier career was in Logistics in a number of modes, finally in offshore oil support in Aberdeen. I joined Aberdeen Business School at the Robert Gordon University where I have been particularly involved in post-experience and distance and online education and training. I have a Masters in Logistics and PhD in Supply Chain Management.
My time in Uganda permitted me to see the potential of the country and the people, particularly held back by a lack of proper facilities and resources. OBAAT will not solve all those problems, but in its projects it provides an environment where better education, health and community development is possible. It does this in a local, sustainable way involving a valuable exchange of skills between UK and Ugandan workers. It is because of this that I endorse and support OBAAT and hope that if you are reading this you may do the same.
I really enjoy working on OBAAT because it opens a door to another reality which it would be easy not to have ever experienced – we have brothers and sisters far away who live a very different life from us with whom we build a friendship and can give and take what each has to offer. Its projects continue to bring together for all who take part the best of ideas for improvement of life in Africa through the physical environment, health benefits, increased educational opportunities and mutual understanding and friendship between African and European participants.
I have been working on OBAAT for the last five years and am now Secretary to the Trustees. In the past I have worked as Contracts Manager for Overseas Contracts for Marconi Telecommunications.
Dr. Martin Carey
CEO Urban Hope
Head of Liverpool Hope Business School
As one of the co-founders of One Brick at a Time I am particularly proud of this initiative which has now operated successfully in Fort Portal since 2008.
My own background has been for the last 27 years in higher education at Liverpool Hope University, of which 20 years has been at a senior management level. I first entered University in 1979 as a mature student having undertaken a range of jobs, including being a Union Convenor at British Airways. This experience, as well as that of coming from a working class background, has given me strong commitment to inclusion education.
I have been at Liverpool Hope an Assistant Registrar with responsibility for Widening Access, a Dean of a Faculty, the Chief Executive of a Regeneration company, Urban Hope, and recently retired as Head of Hope Business School but continue to provide consultancy work for the University.
I have served on the Merseyside Learning Skills Council, the Liverpool Fairness Commission and currently am a Governor of Liverpool City College as well as the Chair of the Anthony Walker Foundation.
All of this has shaped my perspective on education which recognises that, if harnessed appropriately, it can liberate people. One Brick at a Time, operating in one of the poorest countries in the world, does all of that and I am proud to be part of it.
I have been involved with the One Brick at a Time Project for the last four years. Both individually and across the organisation I work for this has had a profound and positive impact upon our business and my colleagues.
I have been a strong supporter of OBAAT for the last 6 years. My current role as Group Chief Executive at Halton Housing Trust has enabled my colleagues to transfer some of our construction and building management skills into a range of OBAAT projects. We have also completed a range of fund raising activities and providing a range of tools and machinery through our network of suppliers. As well as being an OBAAT Trustee, other roles include being a Board Member of the Northern Housing Consortium, Vice Chair of the Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group and Non-Executive Director at HACT (an innovation business).
I have been involved with One Brick At A Time for four years now as a board member (former Chair) and supporter. I am Deputy Chief Executive of Wulvern Housing, based in South Cheshire as well as being a Governor of South Cheshire College and a board member of North West Housing Services. All the organisations I support are concerned with developing people and projects for the benefit of communities and to improve the quality of life chances for people.
In 2012, I was fortunate enough to see the wonderful work OBAAT achieves in Uganda. In 2013, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for OBAAT.
I have been involved with One Brick at a Time since the partnership was developed following Martin Carey and John Denny’s visit to Uganda in 2009. I was originally involved promoting and managing the partnership when employed at Chester & District Housing Trust and since leaving I have continued to support and work as a Trustee for OBAAT, taking on the honorary role of treasurer.
After qualification as a Chartered Accountant (FCA), I have worked in a variety of roles; in private audit, accountancy, forensic and taxation practice, as a government regulator and in corporate roles in housing over the past 28 years. I am now employed as Director of Housing for Fife Housing Group in the East of Scotland and I divide my time between here and Merseyside.
As well as being an OBAAT Trustee, other roles include being Treasurer and Charity Trustee of Age Concern Crosby, a Board member at Career Connect in Merseyside where I am also Chair of the Risk & Audit Committee and previously Non-Executive Governance Advisor and Chair of Risk & Audit of the Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group.
As co-founder along with Martin, I am Chair of One Brick at a Time and incredibly proud to be part this initiative that since 2008 has exceeded its objectives impacting positively upon the lives of so many in both Uganda and the UK.
The original idea for OBAAT can be traced back to when Martin and I met in South Africa many years ago. We were both inspired by the innovation and incredible commitment of people, in the most disadvantaged of circumstances, to change the lives of those around them without thought for themselves. This experience also shaped my work as a CEO in the UK social housing sector to do more than just providing a home by creating the opportunity to raise aspiration and expectation on challenging estates.
This same experience still drives me now as CEO of VMM International, a faith and values based organisation that works throughout Africa and now Burma where we respond to the call to share our lives with some of the poorest and most marginalised communities on the planet.
Also with Martin, we co-founded the Hope Opportunity Trust; a ground breaking charity that provides young men and women from some of the most disadvantaged of circumstances with the opportunity to change their life chances through attending some of the most enlightening and prestigious educational institutions in the UK.
I am also a Governor and Chair of Audit at Liverpool City College and a Fellow of Hope University Business School.
I’m married with 4 grownup children and a wife (also grown). I’m CEO of VMM (Europe), an international development organisation with its headquarters in Ireland, and Regional offices in England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA. My management experience includes co-ordinating and teaching at graduate and postgraduate levels. My Doctorate and Masters are in International Health & Tropical Medicine and one in Management. I have research and field experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America and a record of targeting the outcome of such research towards the benefits of communities and individuals in need. OBAAT satisfies my professional and personal interests in linking community development with practical initiatives at all levels and in particular ones which impact upon communities and individuals that are marginalised and poor.