Kettering's Chris reaches final of top trade award after battling back from accident
He doesn't let his disability stop him from doing what he loves
A Kettering heating engineer who was left partially paralysed after an accident is one step closer to winning a top trade award and a £20,000 prize bundle.
Chris Starsmore is celebrating after seeing off hundreds of other tradespeople to reach the final of the renowned Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2021 competition.
The 38-year-old will now join nine other worthy contestants from across the UK and Ireland to go head-to-head to win the coveted title.
He is a wheelchair user but doesn't let his disability stop him in his trade, having set up his own firm specialising in work on houses which are designed to help those with impairments.
Chris has been in the trade for 22 years and owns Astar Living Ltd. He was selected following an initial application outlining how he demonstrates a real passion for the trade, is exceptionally skilled, and has the drive and determination to go above and beyond for customers.
Having previously run a successful large plumbing and heating business, Chris was the unfortunate victim of an accident which left him disabled.
As a result he decided to trade one tool in for another by starting his own building and rental company which specialises in building and renovating houses designed to enable inclusiveness and ease of accessibility for people with disabilities and other impairments.
He will now aim to impress a panel of judges with his examples of excellent workmanship and dedication to the trade during a two-day virtual final event.
The winner will be crowned during Screwfix LIVE and will take home a £20,000 prize bundle comprising of tech, tools, and training.
Chris said: “To be named as a finalist in this prestigious competition is a real honour and to be recognised in this way after navigating such a difficult path means a great deal.
"I’m looking forward to showing off my skills and getting to know the other finalists and judges.
"To go on and win this competition would be a phenomenal achievement.”
Simon Jackson, customer and digital director at Screwfix, said: “We recognise the importance of supporting our nations tradespeople, and we want to reward them for their hard work and for continually supporting their customers and local communities.
"We have seen many, high quality entrants this year and our top ten finalists have done incredibly well to get this far.
"I look forward to meeting the finalists as we look to crown one high calibre individual as Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2021.
"I’d like to congratulate Chris for reaching the final and I wish all the finalists the best of luck."