Giving something back to the Armed Forces is something teams in our Defence contract are keen to do. We offer all employees up to two days per year to take part in projects or charity fundraising that really benefits the local military community in which they live and work. From helping to raise funds for local initiatives or by refurbishing youth huts or playgrounds – our teams have done it all!
However, we were really pleased to hear how one of our Delivery Managers, Carl Shadrake, had taken volunteering to the next level by taking part in an initiative with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and our corporate charity partner, to recognise the good work that their mentors do for our Armed Forces and their families as they make the sometimes difficult transition from military to civilian life.
Carl, a twice wounded veteran, is no stranger to the incredible work that SSAFA do, having received their support following a series of tragedies that began in 2007 during his time with the Grenadier Guards. Carl was serving in Afghanistan when he was wounded by a suicide bomber that killed his driver and wounded all of his team in the vehicle. This resulted in a four month stay at Headley Court (now Stanford Hall in Leicester), home to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, a site we are proud to support as part of our contract to deliver maintenance services in our Regional Prime Central contract.
In 2012, he was again deployed to Afghanistan and was wounded for a second time when an Improvised Explosive Device (EID) exploded in front of him leading to him being medically discharged in 2014. Weeks later he received the devastating news that his brother, Jamie, also serving in the Grenadier Guards, had been shot and killed in action by the Taliban.
Carl said “2012 to 2014 was an extremely turbulent time for myself and my family. SSAFA has been a continuous support with their mentoring scheme. To have the opportunity to attend the SSAFA AGM in Wiltshire as part of my volunteer days with Amey was something I really wanted to do – they do an amazing job and I wanted them to understand the positive impact they have on Service personnel and their families who sometimes have to cope with physical and physiological injuries on top of the uncertainty of starting a new life in a new profession unexpectedly.”
Carl delivered a presentation to the attendees and told his story of how he was twice injured, the death of his brother who was killed in action and the long process to recovery. He talked about how SSAFA helped support him by providing a mentor to guide through the recovery process, who in turn provides a positive and straight thinking point of view in the midst of uncertainty. He then gave everyone the opportunity to ask him any questions they had.
Ian Ferries, SSAFA Branch Secretary Wiltshire, was overwhelmed by Carl’s presentation and said “Carl gave everyone a most moving insight into the things that happened to him whilst serving in the Grenadier Guards that engaged everyone in the room. It provided an inspiration to our volunteers to try and achieve as much as they can whilst doing the casework on which so many of our veterans depend. I cannot express my thanks enough for what you gave to our meeting – proof that spirit and determination can succeed no matter what the odds.”
In 2015, Amey made a commitment to raise £250,000 within the five years of our contracts, for SSAFA’s mentoring programme by employee fundraising and charity events. Thanks to the generosity of our staff and supply chain partners, we’ve recently passed the £210,000 mark with lots of activities still to come this year which include supporting SSAFA’s Big Brew Up and events to tie in with Armed Forces Day in June.
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