Ross finds his niche in focusing on detail

Ross Clode

A WOKING man who runs his own business providing bespoke and sustainable building projects is ascribing some of his success to having attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

Ross Clode, who moved to the area more than 20 years ago, founded Sustainable Builds last year after several years working in a variety of fields.

“While mental illness can be highly debilitating, I try to stay focused on the positive aspects of my condition,” Ross said.

“The hyper-focus aspect of my ADHD allowed me to set up a small business in a relatively short space of time.”

Ross said that the nature of his condition means he is able to focus on tasks, in contrast to the general belief about ADHD.

“I’ve managed to channel this into a job which benefits from this. As a handy man, I’m able to focus on a number of tasks a client would have had to employ different trades to undertake.

“My ADHD brain loves this variety and thrives on problem solving; something that interests it.”

Ross said that, before he had the condition diagnosed, he has suffered from depression and anxiety and found working for other people difficult at times.

He said that working for himself has given him greater confidence and he also has wonderful support from friends and his wife Charlotte and their two children.

Before setting up his own business, Ross worked as a graphics technician for a number of companies and served with the Territorial Army for five years, mostly with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and left with the rank of lance-corporal.

He was born in Wiltshire but his father was born in Guildford and had mental health problems.

“He didn’t know his father, who was in Brookwood mental hospital and is believed to have had a breakdown after the Second World War,” Ross said.

Ross achieved 10 GCSEs, some A levels and gained a higher national diploma in cartography and surveying at Oaklands College in Borehamwood.

He is involved in community work in Woking, overseeing the running and maintenance of a Scout group minibus and trailer and for two years was the social secretary at a youth football club.

Ross said he is keen to talk about his experience of living with ADHD to help break down the stigma often associated with mental illness.

“It’s great that there is more discussion and engagement in recent years regarding mental illness.

“There should be no stigma surrounding it, it’s purely a chemical in balance in the brain.”

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