Nigel’s military career spans an impressive 32-year period, initially joining the British Army in 1986 when he was 23 years old.
He spent 15 and a half years with the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment and the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment. After a three-year break between 1998 and 2001, he re-joined the military in 2001 and in 2005, joined the Military Provost Guard Service, responsible for maintaining physical security at British Armed Forces locations throughout Great Britain. Here, he served three years at RAF Scampton in Lincoln before moving to RAF Spade Adam where he stayed for five years before completing his service at RAF Boulmer, after which he decided to retire in 2018.
Throughout his career, he was stationed in various locations including Germany, Bosnia, Cyprus, Omagh, Tidworth and Blackpool.
In July 2018, he approached Launchpad’s Avondale House in Newcastle when he came to the end of his full-time reserve service during his six month resettlement. He did consider other places to live but as Avondale House was the closest to him and a flat was available, he decided to move in there and hasn’t looked back.
The transition from military to civilian life can be difficult but specialist providers and charities like Launchpad help veterans make a successful transition regardless of their personal circumstances.
For Nigel, he agrees that moving into Launchpad has been a huge help. He said: “Coming out to civvy street isn’t easy, but coming to live at Avondale House has helped me to settle down. I am enjoying the freedom civvy street provides – being able to do what I want, when I want.
“While I’ve been living here, I have completed a LifeWorks course with the Royal British Legion Industries, which I found really useful and have recommended this course to other residents living at the house.
“I’ve moved on now and am living independently. I am also in full time employment, working at Greggs. I get to move around a lot and I enjoy the change that brings.”
Launchpad has provided Nigel and other residents like him with the motivation to get involved in courses and learn new skills. It has also provided him with the opportunity to meet new people and the encouragement to find employment.
“I wanted to do something with my life rather than just sit around all day doing nothing. I love my job.”