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At LionHeart, we understand from the work we do that the APC process can be a particularly challenging time and so we are constantly developing the support we are able to offer.


As well as access to our own team of support officers and counsellors, we are also recruiting APC ambassadors to share their experiences and insights from their own professional journey. All are either recently qualified RICS professionals or are currently going through the APC process themselves.


Our APC ambassadors hope to inspire and encourage their fellow industry colleagues, share tips, and help LionHeart develop the best support possible for young professionals. 

  • To find out more about our APC Ambassadors please contact our engagement officer Rakhee Sharma at rsharma@lionheart.org.uk

Our APC Ambassadors

Click photos for more info:

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Evie Watson

Evie, 24, lives and works in Edinburgh after graduating from Heriot Watt University. She passed her APC in December 2019 after 2 years of working.

She says: "My practice area is Quantity Surveying, largely within building construction under commercial, defence, residential, education and healthcare sectors.

"This experience helped me prepare for my APC, along with a supportive employer. I work for a global construction engineering consultancy where I work within the Cost Management team. 

"I'm looking forward to supporting the great work that LionHeart do and excited to be a LionHeart APC ambassador."

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Yasin Karbhari

Yasin kicked off his career in 2014 with a global Quantity Surveying company whilst in his final year at Kingston University.

He's since contributed to a number of high profile construction projects for global leaders in the finance, retail and health sectors. 

Yasin’s current role at Turner & Townsend involves in mentoring junior members of staff and coaching their APC process.
He says: "Everybody goes through moments in their life when they need support, advice on work-related worries, or simply a good chat with an empathetic listener. 

"I chose to become an ambassador for LionHeart because I understand first-hand the value of the work they do. Not long ago, I unexpectedly lost an immediate family member just weeks before my APC assessment. I struggled - I didn’t feel there was anyone I could speak to that understood what I was going through. I’m passionate about doing all I can to help support others that may be struggling with their own unique situations."

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Gemma Begbie

Gemma studied Architecture as an undergraduate degree before completing a Masters in Construction Project Management in 2011, then an LLM in Construction Law in 2019. She became a member of the RICS in 2015 and currently works as a Senior Project Manager for Turner & Townsend.

Gemma says: “Because I have continued to study for much of my adult life and worked hard to build a successful career, there is a perception that academia comes naturally to me and I handle stress well; however, this could not be further from the truth. How people perceive me at work and at home has always been a real challenge for me as I’ve always battled with the pressure of other people’s expectations against how I really feel inside.

Having experienced my own mental health issues in the past (and still to this day), I feel compelled to help others to open up in ways that, until very recently, I have been unable to. The construction industry is such a macho environment and the feeling that we are unable to talk when we experience poor mental health is debilitating. I have personally experienced this, and through working with LionHeart, I hope to be able to break down the stigma attached to mental health and contribute to enabling people to talk more openly about how they feel. Not only as an industry, but as a generation, we need to reach a point where our mental health is something we prioritise and we talk about daily.”

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Sunny Cheema

Since completing his university degree in Quantity Surveying, Sunny has been progressing his career and recently qualified as a member of the RICS.

He now dedicates time to helping peers to also become chartered surveyors. 

By understanding and learning to overcome the magnitude of the workload required to achieve his own chartership, Sunny hopes to be able to provide support for others in establishing a better work-study balance during this demanding time.

He says: "The challenges I faced during my own experience can now be shared, ideally in order to help others to overcome any difficulties that they may face on their own journey to passing their APC."





Natasha Collins

Natasha started as a graduate surveyor in 2010 and worked in practice for 6 years. During that time she gained her MSc in Surveying through the University of Reading and went on to become chartered in 2015.

 In 2016 Natasha started NC Real Estate, where she specialises in asset management, and is also a lecturer with the University College of Estate Management, teaching property management at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Working herself 'past the point of being healthy' the first time she took her APC led Natasha to seek support from LionHeart.

After she was successful the next time she was determined to help others in a similar position and, working with LionHeart, devised and delivered one of our first wellbeing workshops Supercharge Your Wellbeing workshop, which is specially aimed at helping APC candidates through what is potentially a very stressful time.

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Avneet Virdee

Avneet spent a total of four years at the Valuation Office Agency where she qualified in November 2017 before joining Gerald Eve in 2018.  She has experience in a variety of fields including valuations for taxation, development viability, accounting, and secure lending purposes.


She says: "I believe, as individuals, we all go through moments in life that are ‘up and down’, and we must not brush these emotions under the carpet but instead acknowledge them. Both the industry we are in and the APC process can be an overwhelming experience, therefore as an ambassador I would like to provide support by sharing my own experiences."





Jennifer Hobart

Jennifer spent two and a half years as a graduate surveyor in Milton Keynes before joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2015. She qualified in June 2017 and does a variety of work including building surveys and Dilapidations and Contract administration.

Jen has struggled with anxiety since she was a teenager, but desperately tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t a problem.

She says: “I eventually decided to face it after I was referred following my first attempt at assessment. I came across a seminar called Supercharge Your Wellbeing by LionHeart, which I believe was the turning point that helped me to achieve my chartership that summer."

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Roy Albert

Roy has been involved in the property sector since 2004 as an administrative officer with the Rent Service, now part of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). 


He currently undertakes valuations including statutory valuations as well as Red Book valuations with the District Valuers (DVS) within the VOA.

This role was his final rotation in preparation for his APC.

He says: "It was one of the proudest days of my career to receive a congratulatory email on my success at becoming a chartered surveyor in May 2020.


"I am excited to be a LionHeart ambassador and proud to be part of something supporting past and present RICS members as well as dependants and partners, who often have to bear the burden of the tough study days, late nights, early mornings and missing out on spending more consistent quality time together. If I can do it, so can you!" 





Neil A'Bear

Neil started his career working with Fund Managers on Fixed Income, Equities and Real Estate fund distribution for three years in London, subsequently joining CBRE in 2017. During that time he gained an MSc in Real Estate Investment & Finance at Heriot Watt University, Real Estate Analyst Certificate and went on to pass his APC and become a Chartered Commercial Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer in 2019. He now advises Institutional Fund Managers, Pension Funds, REITs and Private Equity on their commercial property holdings.


He says: "As someone who over-studied throughout the process to an unhealthy level I found the LionHeart material a real help."


As part of his role at CBRE, he now mentors APC candidates to prepare them for assessment and adds: "I decided to become an ambassador for LionHeart because I believe in the value of the work that they do, having benefitted from it first-hand. I had some excellent support and coaching which was integral to passing my APC and would like to offer that support to other APC candidates.”



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Shoaib Hassan Natha

Having completed his degree in 2012, Shoaib has worked as a QS in the Main Contractor and Consultancy environments, with opportunities to work on iconic projects like Crossrail, Riyadh Metro and most recently the BBC Television Centre.


Having recently qualified as a member of the RICS, Shoaib now hopes to give time to helping others achieve their potential. 


He says: “I chose to become an ambassador for LionHeart as I understand that challenges in life can sometimes seem to be unforgiving (I breathe a sigh of relief as I say this). Whilst going through the chartership process I experienced many personal challenges which I found very difficult to share with others and as a result had an impact on me.


"Having benefited from seeking advice from LionHeart during these challenging times, I understand the value of being an APC Ambassador. Having been through this rough patch of life, I can finally share my experiences with others to assist them on their journey to passing their APC.”





Andrew Outram

Andrew lives and works in East Anglia as a Quantity Surveyor with experience across multiple sectors.


He undertook his BSc in Quantity Surveying through the University College of Estate Management, and eventually undertook the APC in 2020, passing at the first opportunity.


Since passing his APC, Andrew has immediately put his experience to good use, by assisting other candidates both internally at work and outside of his organisation.


After suffering with Anxiety and a loss of confidence in preparation for his APC assessment, Andrew reached out to LionHeart.


“That experience benefitted me immeasurably. Without the conversations and advice that was given to me by the LionHeart staff, I wouldn’t have been able to cope the way I did. I will forever be grateful for that experience, and subsequently I look forward to giving back to LionHeart and passing on my experience to help others”.

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Stu Blick

Stu studied Building Surveying at UWE in Bristol, including a placement year at WSP before joining the graduate scheme at CBRE in 2017.

He sat the APC in November 2019, and despite studying as hard as possible, he was referred twice before finally passing on the third attempt in November 2020.

"Dealing with the disappointment of being referred was extremely difficult and frustrating, and it wasn’t until after the process that I learned about the support available at Lionheart.

I hope that my experiences through the APC can help the many other people that find themselves in the same situation. I definitely didn’t look after my mental and physical health properly throughout the process, and I’d like to prevent others from making the same mistake!"

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David Walker

David graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Quantity surveying from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2011.

He gained Associate RICS qualification in 2015 and full MRICS membership in June 2020, currently works for Parker Technical Service as a Senior Quantity Surveyor.

He progressed from graduate surveyor to Senior Quantity surveyor over the past 10 years. working in contracting industry for various multinational M&E contractors including commercial management of a wide range of projects in a variety of sectors including, healthcare, financial and education. This includes both new build, base builds, cat a & cat b fit outs.

"My main motivation to become an ambassador for Lionheart ambassador is to help APC candidates through their own APC journey by sharing my own experiences including helpful advice, insight & knowledge.

Having personally experienced my own challenges and setbacks throughout my working life and APC journey, I understand the importance of having someone to talk with through the process and gain reassurance & support from."

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Neil Higson

Neil works in Manchester and graduated as a mature student at the age of 28, at Reading University - College of Estate Management, in 2012.


Neil passed the APC first time in 2013 via the Commercial Property pathway, and he now specialises in Commercial Property Investment agency at his own practice, where he offers over 16 years’ experience in the property industry.


“I did a day release HNC in Property Management & Valuation for 2 years, prior to a distance learning 4 year degree at the College of Estate Management. This was all whilst working on the job. When I sat the APC I had over 8 years’ property experience and also the benefit of my continuous learning for a period of 6 years. I feel that I can provide advice to those mature entrants to the APC world and also to those that are looking to take a less traditional route in to the surveying profession.”

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Saqib Paracha

Saqib has been working as a Quantity Surveyor since around 2011. The majority of this time was spent working for a multi-national consultancy on major landmark projects such as Crossrail, London Bridge Redevelopment and Heathrow Airport. 


"The challenges I came across to becoming Chartered were faced in both personal and professional life; balancing work, studying and personal responsibilities is never easy. We all go through different phases in life, some positive and some not - it is important to remember there is always support available and this is where LionHeart helped me, especially when I was struggling to make sense of the situation during the recent Pandemic and effects of the lockdown. 


"As an ambassador I would like to not only share my experiences but support those in need."





Rachael Hogg

Rachael started working in Glasgow within the Commercial Surveying sector in 2014 and has specialised in telecommunications surveying and asset management throughout her career.

After an initial setback, she qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2019 and introduced a successful APC graduate support scheme within Waldon Telecom where she works, alongside running the Estate Management department. She also sits on the panel of APC Assessors in Scotland.

She says “The APC is one of the most challenging periods of any surveyors career. After being referred the first time around, I found the advice and support Lionheart offered to be invaluable. I would encourage any candidate, no matter what stage of their APC they are going through, to use the resources offered. Take all the support you can!”

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