Lance Corporal Colin Pennington
Colin completed 7 years in the Royal Logistic Corps, becoming a Class 1 Ammo Tech and instructor at the School of Ammunition (DEMSS). Injuries and operations on both ankles over the course of his career have led to Colin being medically discharged but he also suffered with psychological issues during recovery, making the whole process even more challenging. During the discharge process Colin recognised that his future career would have to reflect the level of fitness and ability that his injury would allow and decided his future was within the IT industry. Colin engaged with his Personnel Recovery Officer, learnt that his resettlement grants would not cover the cost of all the courses he wished to take and so a grant from the ABF (The Soldiers Charity) enabled him to become both CompTIA certified and a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist.
Once his training was complete Colin started job hunting but was unsuccessful because he had no commercial experience in the workplace, which most employers expect. Housing goes hand in hand with employment and so Colin found himself having to live at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre at Catterick; without an income he could not fund accommodation.
Soon after discharge and while still at Catterick, Colin met with Adam, a relationship manager with the Recovery Career Services and Mission Motorsport. He began to involve himself with Mission Motorsport, attending track days and race events. Adam started looking for opportunities for Colin to gain the invaluable work experience that he would need to secure future employment. Within four weeks of meeting Colin was on a placement with one of the best known names in the motorsport industry, Prodrive, famous for running Colin McRae’s and Richard Burns’ world rally cars. The placement was initially for one month with an option to extend. Again Colin was in a position where he would need some financial support and, through a grant from the ABF, Colin’s living and travel expenses were covered for a period of up to two months. Towards the end of his placement an opportunity arose for a temporary, paid, three month contract within the company, which Colin accepted.
Colin has now been offered a permanent position within the company and has worked incredibly hard at his recovery. He has also shown that veterans from the Forces make superb employees; they just need to be given the chance to show the skills they have. He also has the opportunity and potential to carve himself a fantastic new career in the motorsport industry with excellent pay and promotion prospects.
None of this would have been possible without the support given from all the charities involved in my case. The ABF, Help for Heroes and not least to Mission Motorsport; for not only finding me the work placement but also the ongoing support of ensuring that everything is ok both work wise, but also in the emotional support given.
People don’t realise just that 2 minute phone call of “How’s things chap?” helps so much, just to know there is someone out there interested and concerned for the welfare of veterans - Colin Pennington