Astrid Arnold crowned Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023

Winner of Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023, Astrid Arnold

In one of the most hotly contested finals yet, Devon-based carpenter, Astrid Arnold, has recently been announced as the winner of Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023, proving herself as an exceptionally skilled tradesperson with a passion for helping others.

Astrid, 48, was presented with the award - one of the industry’s most coveted titles - during Screwfix Live, which was held at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre on Friday 22 September.

In addition to being awarded this prestigious title, Astrid wins an ultimate trade bundle worth £20,000, consisting of £10,000 worth of tools, £5,000 worth of technology, and £5,000 towards future training. She aims to use this money to fund existing training programmes that her company, TouchWood South West, currently runs for disadvantaged women in the local community.

Competing against nine other high-calibre UK tradespeople, Astrid faced a panel of esteemed industry experts, including representatives from Screwfix, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2022 winner, Toby Peacock, and renowned television presenter, journalist and tradesperson Roger Bisby – known for his popular Skill Builder YouTube channel.

Despite being up against the very best of the trade, Astrid was a stand-out winner, with her incredibly technical and stunning carpentry work, focus on sustainability within her business, as well as passion for supporting women with trade skills.

Technical skill & customer service

The judges noted Astrid’s technical carpentry skills, but also her unbeatable customer service – two key attributes for any top tradesperson. Astrid has completed a range of personal and professional development courses to support her company's growth and heighten customer service, as well as a CAD course to improve work offered to customers.

Outside of the winner's practical skills, judges were particularly impressed by the broader contribution Astrid has made to the trade industry. Her company, TouchWood South West, comprises of a team of tradeswomen that teach a wide range of courses for up-and-coming tradespeople, as well as DIY-ers, alongside its offering of traditional carpentry services. The firm has also been involved in several charitable initiatives, which particularly support women within the industry, including supporting those who're survivors of domestic violence, starting an initiative called ‘Women Build!’ alongside the probation service. This initiative helps those women who're either unemployed or on probation with their mental health through carpentry and woodworking, providing support not only in learning new skills, but helping develop a future path going forward.

Astrid commented: “I'm still in complete shock! After meeting the other finalists and hearing their stories, I knew the competition would be fierce. Since winning, they've all been so supportive and I just couldn’t be prouder of this recognition for not only me, but my hard-working team.

“The construction industry is currently facing huge challenges from the skills gap to massive sustainability targets set by the government. With only 4% of women in manual trades, it’s clear to me that women have the potential to tackle these challenges given the right support. Winning this award provides visibility for every female tradesperson in the UK and Ireland, highlighting the contribution we're currently making, as well as the potential we have to make in future.

“I'll be using the prize bundle to grow our current training courses. I'd also like to invest in our secondary school work, as I’m passionate about integrating practical skills into the national curriculum and giving young people a chance to explore the incredible opportunities a trade career can provide. I’m so excited to upgrade the tools and training we currently offer; the students are going to be over the moon!”

Giving back to the community

Jack Wallace, Screwfix's Marketing Director, said: “It's been an absolute pleasure to meet the inspirational tradespeople who're demonstrating excellence in the work they produce for customers as well as support being given to the next trade generation. This year, we saw that tradespeople are also giving back to local communities in extraordinary ways – from free boiler installations to those in need, nurturing apprentices' early careers, to the work being done by Astrid and her team in helping people develop important skills to improve their lives.

“This year, all 10 of our Screwfix Top Tradesperson finalists were exceptional, but Astrid really blew the judges away with her industry passion, strong work ethic and drive towards increasing industry sustainability, thus making it more diverse and visible. Astrid’s attention to detail in her carpentry, ability to use skills and knowledge to do good, and aspirations for increasing awareness of trade skills with young people is reflective of our company values. I’m delighted to announce Astrid as our 2023 winner, and I know she'll be an incredible ambassador, not only for us, but the wider construction industry.”

For more information on Screwfix Top Tradesperson 2023, visit, and to find out more about TouchWood South West, see