Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, I spent most of my childhood living in the village of Brown Edge. I attended Endon High School which I left in July 1994 at the age of 16 before starting my Armed Forces career in August 1994 with the Parachute Regiment. After a few setbacks during training I passed out and joined “1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment” in June 1995.
During my career I have served several tours of NI, also on operations in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and numerous tours of Afghanistan. I spent time as a Parachute Regiment recruit instructor based at ITC Catterick, as a Divisional Training Team SM, for the Parachute Regiment and Household Division before finishing my 25 Career in September 2019 as a CSM within the Regiment.
While serving I have personally suffered with mental health. The first time I was very reluctant to tell anyone or ask for help, but when I did, I got the support of my friends, colleagues and unit without question and without judgement. The support I gained during that time meant when I began to suffer for a second time, I felt confident and comfortable talking about it and asking for the help and support I needed. I gained support from various organisations and charities during these difficult times and during my transition to civilian street.
Now back on track and looking to the future, with the love and support of my partner Vicky, our families and friends I wanted to give back. With the struggles I have been through I felt the need and want to use my experience, skills and knowledge to support others. Woody’s Lodge is my local charity and I echo all that the charity stands for, so I was thrilled to be offered the appointment of Project Officer South Wales and could not be happier. I look forward to working with and building new relationships with colleagues, veterans, their families and other organisations in the hope I can provide support where needed and make a difference to Woody’s Lodge and our Patrons.