In 2011, DIY giant B&Q, embarked on a new adventure - the launch of a Youth Board. This brought together young people from around the UK to advise their business.  I made it through the selection process to win my place on the board and collaborated with 8 other young people from across the country on a year long project.  We were set a real challenge facing the business: How can B&Q thrive and evolve in a world with rising costs of energy, material and waste disposal?

Youth Board.jpg

We focused on how B&Q could eliminate waste in the production and usage of a product. We presented back to Dame Ellen MacArthur, Ian Cheshire (CEO Kingfisher) and B&Q’s Board of Directors.  Progress is now being made in the business from our proposals. We have agreed to meet once a year for the next 10 years for B&Q to see us progress in our careers and keep us updated on development of our concepts. 

The Youth Board brought completely fresh perspectives and exciting ideas to our company. It helped to broaden our outlook and led to new projects with real business potential that are now being developed within B&Q.
— Sir Ian Cheshire, CEO Kingfisher

I have been recognised as the Innovator at B&Q for pioneering the 'Project Box' concept, where customers can lease a pack of tools, along with the materials they need to complete common DIY jobs around the garden and home. This concept that I worked on during my time on the Youth Board has received funding by the Government's Technology Strategy Board and is in further development.

In October 2014, after a steady flow of enquiries from other businesses interested in the how the youth board worked, and how it could be replicated, B&Q launched a tool kit for business, giving insights from leaders in the business and the board members themselves. Click here to download the toolkit.

 Each of the youth board members were mentored by a B&Q board member. I and my mentor Véronique Laury, (now Kingfisher CEO) after our first meet up at B&Q HQ.

Each of the youth board members were mentored by a B&Q board member. I and my mentor Véronique Laury, (now Kingfisher CEO) after our first meet up at B&Q HQ.

Over the Summer 2013, I was offered a one month Internship with Kingfisher (parent company of Screwfix and B&Q) working within their Net Positive team. This is Kingfisher's long term vision and business plan to go beyond zero impact and create positive change. Whilst on my internship I researched into the plastic waste created within areas of their supply chain, and the potential solutions to eradicate this, saving substantial amounts of waste and money. I travelled to distribution centres, suppliers, plastic recyclers and worked with external packaging experts on realistic solutions. Whilst I am not allowed to disclose my findings, B&Q is working on some of these ideas, engaging suppliers to close the loop on waste.

Below is a video giving a glimpse into the Youth Board's final presentation.