Whilst running the third Fighting Chance programme we had a referral from Veterans Aid one of the organisations we work with – Rob.

The first time I met him he turned up about an hour and a half early on the first day of the course – he was (as a lot of the Ex-Services guys often are) very keen and always punctual.

Over the duration of the course we usually had a chat in the morning and Rob began to tell me a few things about his life before and some of the things he had been through and it really shook me how much he had been through.

Shortly after signing up (aged just 18) to join the Army Rob’s Mother passed away suddenly – he had to leave very soon after to be stationed overseas and didn’t get much time to grieve for her.
Not very long after being stationed he got the news that his Father had also died not long afterwards.

Being thousands of miles away and unable to leave he now thinks he underwent a breakdown which at the time went unrecognised.
When Rob returned back home years later and left the army he was suddenly on his own and without the support network that he had always relied on he found himself struggling to cope with Civilian life.

Rob began using and became addicted to Hard (Class A) drugs, partly he now thinks because of events in his past (he also had a tough childhood)

His addiction also contributed to him becoming homeless shortly afterwards. It was at this point that Veterans Aid found him and began to work with him.

Veterans Aid do lots incredible work supporting people and giving them the means to support themselves afterwards.

They put Rob through a drug treatment programme and helped him get him off the streets and housed again.

It is usually after their own treatment programme that candidates are referred to The Fighting Chance – The routine of regular exercise helps as part of an overall programme of recovery.

Rob excelled on the boxing course and often said how much he was enjoying the course – not just the boxing training but the positive team spirit too.

We discussed work options and decided that straight into a job was not the best option for him as he would benefit from moving towards that goal in stages.

Rob had previously gone straight into work despite the fact he was finishing his treatment programme and had ended up losing the job very quickly.

In conjunction with Rob and Veterans Aid we decided that the first step was to get him onto a training course – He was interested in a career in Construction so we referred him to a CSCS course with Building Lives as a first step.

Rob had also enjoyed the Boxing training so much (the structure of training regularly had been really beneficial for him) that Veterans Aid also paid his yearly membership for Islington boxing Club.

Rob was one of the most popular and enthusiastic participants we have ever had on the course and he has proved he is a real Champion.

Thanks for the visit @hannah_r_west and well trained!
We look forward to working together with yourself and @FemaleVeteranTP on our @CovenantTrust Women & Families Boxing programme. #Womensupportingwomen #Women #Veterans

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