I am the youngest sibling of 4, dragged up on a council estate in the North East of England, left school with no qualifications due to being a somewhat troubled youngster. I joined the British Army for all the usual reasons, Queen, Country, Career, but also as many of us do I joined in order to get away from the shit life I found myself in, running away I guess you could say.
I had the honour to serve with The First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers as a front line Infantry soldier/commander from 1994 to 2004 during which I got to experience the world, which includes operational tours of Bosnia and Northern Ireland (Londonderry and South Armagh) and was one of the Desert Rats who liberated Basra, Iraq (Op Telic 1).
After leaving the Army I became lost in the world and subsequently struggled with life, ended up divorced, bankrupt, unemployed, street homeless, alone and isolated with no family or friends, I was a very angry man with ill mental health labelled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I had no life or desire to live and became suicidal.
Thankfully I was strong enough to pull my head out my arse and sort myself out (one step at a time). Realising I needed to re-educate myself I went back to college then onto University and after 5 years of hard emotional slog I earnt my BA (Hons) degree in Counselling and became a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and an accredited member of The National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS).
I went on to working for various charities in the Veteran Support Sector which included providing support for Veterans within the Criminal Justice System and then progressed onto working with young people within the care system. I have certainly had many of my own personal challenges to overcome which has helped me to become a better counsellor, being able to fully relate with issues that clients face themselves.