In the 1970s Paul joined the Army and in his words “saw the world for free”.
He played clarinet in The Band of Royal Corps of Signals and absolutely loved his job.
11 years later Paul left the military and decided to try something new. After working in the security industry for ten years he gained a job as a security officer with a major supermarket, but over a decade later Paul was made redundant.
Only three days after losing his job, Paul lost his father to prostate cancer. He said: “Losing my father and being unemployed left me feeling really really low. I lost all motivation and basically kicked my heels for 12 months.”
It was at this time that Paul heard about Transitions, a St Loye’s Foundation project designed to provide support to the Armed Forces community.
He said: “I just walked in off the street. They didn’t know me, but they took everything I said at face value. Everyone was so down to earth and dealt with me so professionally.”
The Transitions team sat with Paul, talking through his experience and interests and helped him pursue a career in driving.
Transitions organised an informal meeting with Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) who were looking for two part-time drivers.
“I had no previous experience but Transitions got me a meeting with the Manager at the Furniture and Electrical Charity Shop at DAAT, which led to a two week placement.”
“I guess it went well as I was offered a formal interview. My Transitions support worker called me straight after the interview to see how it went and a few days later I was offered a job!”
Sue Whitham, Retail Development Manager at Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said: “In his interview it shocked me that such a nice guy didn’t have a job. I knew straight away after his 2nd day on placement that he was a winner. He’s a pleasure to work with.”
In a short period of time Paul’s hard work paid off when they made his post full-time.
Thanks to Transitions and DAAT, I’m a completely different person. I have purpose again. I’m part of a great team and my role has gone from part-time to full-time which is absolutely brilliant!
Photo credit: Guy Newman Photography