Daniel Hodgson – Chairman
“The Guild stands for safety, standards, improvement and growth in a very old industry. This is important as the industry is otherwise unregulated and customers deserve a quality professional service.
“Since 2009 the Guild had grown significantly. This growth, as well as the Guild’s position within the industry, will enable us to positively influence and change many things today and in the years to come, helping steer the industry towards a professional, prosperous and safer tomorrow.
“The future of the industry is looking extremely positive; with the recent upsurge in the use of renewable energies, such as wood fuel, the chimney sweep has become more important than ever.”
In 2006, after realising the need for improvement within the industry, and deciding that the Guild was the best organisation to achieve this, Daniel decided to become a member of the Guild.
By 2007 he had joined the Board of Directors as Education Director, and spent the next two years training and advising new members and contributing to the Guild’s training programme and manual.
In 2009 Daniel was appointed as Chairman of the Guild. It is now his role to lead the Guild in a time when the industry is evolving. While there is currently no legal requirement for sweeps to be trained or qualified, the Guild aims to raise standards through professionalism and training.
Sascha Meding – Vice Chairman
“The Guild is important because it gives a standard to reach. It represents the trade and is continuously improving every day. And of course it is part of the chimney sweeping future – by raising awareness and providing training we can save lives.
“The future looks fantastic for the Guild and the sweeping trade all over the world as more and more biomass is used, creating work for all of us. I can also see the Guild easily doubling in size in the next few years as higher standards are not only expected but demanded by customers.”
Before Sascha joined the Guild he was Technical Director for the chimney sweeps of South Germany.
In 2005, after meeting the Chairman of the Guild and seeing the personal approach and commitment of the Board members, he decided the Guild was the organisation to join.
In 2005 Sascha was asked to stand as Public Relations Director and by 2006 he became Vice Chairman.
While his primary responsibility as Vice Chairman has been to support the Chairman, Sascha has also set about improving relations between the Guild and sweeping organisations around the world. Being fluent in both German and English has helped him forge strong bonds with international organisations.
David Wooffindin – Educational Trustee
“The public are becoming more and more aware of the importance of using competent and assessed chimney sweeps. The Guild ensures that the very best chimney sweeping service is provided by each and every one of our members.
“The future for the Guild is looking great – we are entering a time where Guild sweeps are being recognised for the professionals they are.”
David picked up his first rod and brush in 1993 when he established Chimney Services, providing chimney sweeping and appliance repair services to residents of South Yorkshire.
By 1997 David realised that joining a chimney sweep organisation could only be of benefit. After researching the options available he felt the Guild, as a forward thinking group of professionals, was the best fit for him.
Within 18 months he decided he had more to give to the Guild, and in 1998 was appointed as Guild Assessor.
Over the years the Guild’s training programme has evolved and David has been at the forefront, ensuring that all Guild trainees are of the highest standard. This enables them to stand out from their unqualified competitors and being a Guild member also provides them with the support of a national network of sweeps, all happy to help each other with problems they may encounter in the course of their work.
Today, not only is David still the Guild Assessor, but he also holds the role of Treasurer.
Lawson Wight – Public Relations Trustee
“The importance of a well-trained, professional sweep cannot be overstated. The safety of our consumers, their families and their property can be greatly increased by using a Guild member for chimney sweeping, solid fuel servicing and advice.”
Lawson entered the chimney sweeping profession in 2000. He joined the Guild as he felt the organisation had the most expert members and these were the people he wished to associate with.
By 2007, Lawson realised that both the Guild and the industry required real change, which could only be achieved by taking a more active role. This led to his appointment to the Guild’s Education Committee, and in 2009 he became Public Relations Trustee.
While he still has a presence at the training programme for new members, and provides on-site training days, his role within the Guild has evolved. The vital part of his role is now communicating with consumers, members and the sweeping trade.
Educating consumers to the benefits of using a registered sweep is of paramount importance. The industry is improving, but there are still untrained and unregistered chimney sweeps trading which puts lives at risk.
There is also a great deal of work to do to educate both consumers and those within the industry on many aspects of solid fuel use. The current level of incorrect and contradictory information given to consumers regarding appliances, chimneys and fuels means there is a wonderful opportunity for us to set high standards.
Stefan Waumsley – Technical Trustee
“The guild stands for excellence and advancement in the field of chimney sweeping and maintenance.”
Six months into running his chimney sweeping company Stefan made the decision to join the Guild. He wanted to ensure that he was sweeping to the best of his abilities and that his service was based on a foundation of accurate and up-to-date knowledge.
By 2011 Stefan took on the position of Technical Trustee, a role that demands that he is up to date with technological and regulatory advancements within the industry. This knowledge then needs to be relayed to members.
Stefan also has a presence at each of the training programmes and is heavily involved with ensuring new members are aware of the most up-to-date methods and theory. He also aims to inspire them to continue expanding their knowledge base after their assessment.
The Guild is an organisation which stands for excellence. The training programme, standards, support and technical know-how the Guild provides its members with enables their service to the consumer to be of the highest standard in the country.
Andrew Tennant – Scotland
John Stone – Scotland
Barry Chislett-Bruce – South
David Barnes – North West
Simon Rooney – North East
Iain Stevens – South West
Les Bowering – South East
Nigel Potter – Midlands
Dave Merritt – West