Pez’s Story

“Thanks to the support from Launchpad, I’ve reached the stage in my life where I now feel more confident with the prospect of independent living and taking that next step towards reaching my life goals.”

Pez served 7 years in the 5th Regiment Royal Artillery. His role involved surveillance and target acquisition and he operated radars and acoustic sound ranging equipment, working from special observation posts.

He completed an operational tour on Op Herrick 16 in Afghanistan, operating alongside K Battery, attached to 5 Rifles in Helmand Province, which proved to be a particularly testing and lengthy operation. He went on to spend two years instructing surveillance techniques within the training regiment in Larkhill, gaining an IT and Telecommunications Diploma. Whilst serving, he also gained his HGV Class 1 licence which proved useful after leaving service.

At the age of 33, he decided to leave the Army but found his operational experiences had a profound effect on his overall outlook on life, which in turn affected his relationships, his mental health and wellbeing.

After leaving the Army, he decided to pursue a completely different career in marine coral conservation and fisheries protection in the Indian Ocean, of which he had previous experience. However, after leaving the Army and his subsequent marriage breakdown, Pez found himself homeless and was referred to Launchpad’s Speke House for accommodation and support.

With a strong work ethic and self-motivation, he used some of the training he completed whilst in the Army and secured a series of jobs undertaking long-distance HGV driving, including working for the Williams F1 Team.

Pez said: “I still wanted to achieve my goal of returning to the Indian Ocean so I worked with Rob Lockyer, Launchpad’s Employment and Training Specialist at Speke House, to look for further educational courses focusing on coral conservation and marine biology.

“I joined in with the Ignite construction courses delivered by Equans UK to further develop my skillset in between HGV jobs and Rob helped me to develop my CV so I could apply for a job overseas with a UK company in France, again using the technical skillset I had gained in the Army, relating to security surveillance and telecommunications hardware installation.”

Pez was successful in securing a job and Rob helped him negotiate a remuneration package which included accommodation, meals, travel and transport. Pez continued: “I had vocational assistance and guidance whilst at Speke House, in particular financial advice regarding income and taxation, to ensure I can keep track and am being paid a fair wage and being taxed correctly.”

While working in the security surveillance sector, Pez has sourced and obtained a distance learning diploma course in Marine Biology to pursue his longer-term goals of setting up his own non-governmental organisation in coral conservation. We wish him luck!