Claire Steele – Admin Support Officer (Penlan Farm)


I grew up in Lancashire and joined the British Army in 2002 aged 16. I initially pursued a career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as an Avionics Technician. In 2005, following a change of interest, I transferred into the Royal Army Medical Corp as an Environmental Health Technician. Following many years of hard work, experience, and training, I went on to achieve an MSc in Environmental Management.

I completed numerous overseas deployments, postings, and Humanitarian Aid Operations and was a hugely active soldier. Unfortunately, in 2016, I started to develop hip and lower back problems, as well as symptoms of complex PTSD. Due to this, in 2019, I was medically discharged from the Army at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

I struggled with PTSD and Mental Health after Operation HERRICK 10, and during my last few years’ service. During my time in the Army, I had felt ashamed and embarrassed to ask for help and would always pretend to be ok. I often felt guilty to even think of burdening someone else with my problems. It was only until I reached out to a veteran’s charity that I started to get better. I was blown away by the level of support and guidance I received and had been totally unaware of the support that was available outside of the forces.

After leaving the Army, I had only one aspiration, and that was to be happy. Service to others is a huge part of who I am and is what makes me happy. I was just so humbled by the support that I received by Veterans Charities that I wanted to be part of it. I wanted the chance to serve and help others that has been in similar situations to me, or sadly, worse. Once I had recovered, I knew that helping others was my calling in life. I was then actively looking to work for a charity. After searching and interviewing in 2020, I was so grateful and honoured to have been given the role at Woody’s Lodge (Penlan Farm).

I hope to bring new skills and knowledge to Woody’s Lodge to help us become self sufficient at Penlan Farm, and of course, to assist and support our patrons to the best of my ability. I now live in a rural part of West Wales, with my two rescue dogs. I also have a Dog Rescue Charity in Egypt which keeps me busy in my spare time. I love anything to do with the sea, and currently studying Buddhism and holistic therapies.

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