Military Veterans : Chris’ Story
Following a period of Active Service including operations in Northern Ireland and Bosnia, Chris left the Army in 1996. His service was noteworthy in many respects including some classified operations as well as some harrowing experiences as a medic during combat in Bosnia. His transition to civilian life was not smooth; he had difficulty in first obtaining and then maintaining regular employment. Eventually, in 2004, Chris was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which explained his feelings of isolation, of being misunderstood, his lack of emotion and the sense that everything was against him.
Chris, who received support from Combat Stress, first came to Active Plus just to keep himself occupied. Initially quiet and reserved he quickly recognised he had skills that he could share and soon suggested that he deliver the course First Aid sessions. Chris’ unique delivery, using personal experiences, made the sessions vibrant and interesting and proved the catalyst Chris needed; he became more involved and proactive. Selfless, with huge reserves of common sense, Chris has great levels of initiative, flexibility and trustworthiness. A true team player, he regularly goes the extra mile for both Active Plus and the participants. Moving to part time employment has been equally transforming. He is now instrumental in the delivery of a diverse range of courses for people from school children to OAPs and from various backgrounds such as addiction and long term unemployment.
Chris has taken his own personal development seriously, gaining numerous qualifications including PTTLS, heart-start, safeguarding and internet-safety. Chris’ skills were recognised by Helston College who asked him to join their Phoenix Team and his achievements recognised when he won the Cornwall Works WISE Award 2014 in the Skills category.