Military Veterans: Road To Work

February 14, 2017
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I have just completed the Road to Work Course in Exeter with Active Plus.

Before this course my life felt like it was coming to an end, I was in a very bad place. I joined the armed forces in 2006 where I spent four years in 1RTR Tank Regiment. Life in the army wasn’t particularly hard, but the effects of military life and seeing certain things stuck in my head and began to have an impact on me. I was diagnosed with PTSD and discharged from the army with mental health problems.

When I left the army I found it hard to settle back into civilian life. My mental health problems made me feel that I had nothing left to live for. I gradually began spiralling and I started drinking heavily and using drugs – I didn’t want to live anymore. I started to commit crimes, I really didn’t care what happened to me – I had given up. I didn’t realise the effect this was having on my family.

I ended up with a 12 month probation order.

This is where I found Active Plus. My probation worker offered me the course several times, but I didn’t think It would benefit me. I didn’t believe that anyone would understand my background. I got bored of being asked about the course so I said yes in the end. I didn’t think I would see it through.

I am so glad I have completed the course. It has done so much for me socially and mentally. The instructors and other clients have helped me to move forward and have shown me how to deal with problems. I now realise that there are many people who struggle with the same problems and I am not alone.

My confidence has grown a lot throughout the course and my attitude to life has completely turned around. This programme is very beneficial and can help a lot of people who are struggling. The activities are designed to help you think about your own situations differently. It has opened up my mind and I can deal with my own problems in a whole new way thanks to Active Plus. I no longer have the tunnel vision which makes me feel like I am going to explode.

I would never have achieved this if it wasn’t for the instructors. I would like to thank them all for giving me my life back and for making me realise that life is worth living again. I feel I can achieve again.

I can’t believe what I have achieved in 2 months. I intend to help Active Plus and give my time as a volunteer. I want to show other people in my situation that you can move forward and live again.

 

The Road To Work project, for military veterans who have been involved with the criminal justice system, is grant funded by The Armed Forces Covenant.