Chris celebrates a milestone at work

05 February 2019

Chris, a veteran from Pegswood, has recently celebrated an employment milestone. Since leaving the army Chris struggled with his mental health and as a result had been unemployed for 20 years.

But thanks to support from the Employment Services Team at Azure and the Employability Team at The Poppy Factory, a Charity which helps wounded, injured and sick veterans back into work, the 44-year-old has celebrated his first anniversary working at Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington.

Chris said: “I was in the Territorial Army for two or three years and then I joined the Coldstream Guards. I’d wanted to be in the Army from a very young age. I was in training for 12 weeks, then there was an incident that really played on my mind and they told me to go home immediately afterwards. That was the end of my time in the Army. I had really bad depression for a few years and I felt like my head was going to explode."

"I met up with Giles, my Employability Consultant at The Poppy Factory, and he did a lot to encourage me. We looked at a few jobs and I got an interview. I didn’t get that job because I didn’t have enough experience, but I was told I was next on the list. That was a good feeling and gave me the confidence I needed to get to where I am now. I started off at Azure Garden Centre on a work placement and they’ve kept me on as an Assistant for a year now.”

He added: “I’m really enjoying it. I like being able to help the customers and the other members of the team.”