Matt has been in the building trade since he left school and therefore a great addition to the Sansaw maintenance team.

The 30-year-old, who lives in Newport with his wife, Laura, turns his hand to everything from bricklaying and stonework to roofing and plastering.

“It comes in handy when we tackle the refurbishment projects,” he says. “You have to be a master at plenty of things because you just don’t know what sort of challenges will be thrown at you.”

Matt says he loves learning new skills.

“The great thing about working here is they’re good at putting you through courses, so I’ve learned how to handle everything from a chainsaw to a cherrypicker.”

Of course, Matt’s also used to thinking on his feet and taking on new challenges. A six-month tour of Afghanistan made sure he was on his toes.

“I used to be an Army reserves in Donnington so when the opportunity came up to go out to Afghanistan at the end of 2013 I volunteered. It was an incredible experience, even though it was pretty tough going, especially as I was out over Christmas.

“It prepares you for lots of things though. When the weather’s warm here you remember how it got to 40+ degrees in the desert and you just get on with it.

“I wouldn’t particularly rush back but I’m glad I did it.”

Sansaw’s green and pleasant surroundings are much more Matt’s cup of tea now, although like most builders he has a couple of unfinished jobs at his own house which could do with his attention.

“I’m halfway through putting a new window in and plastering the wall,” he laughs. “I’m getting a bit of stick from my other half for that, but when I get home I just want to relax. It’s a physical job on the estate so the last thing I want to do when I walk through the door is get the tools out again!”

He relaxes instead by riding his pride and joy – a Kawasaki ‘Ninja’ motorbike.

“There’s nothing quite like it,” he grins. “I don’t go crazy but that bike can’t half shift!”

Matt Tipton