Using a love of the past to go forward into the future
Former Lance Corporal Rob Steel served in the British Army Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment for six years, two years of which he was attached to 5 Rifles as a sniper. Whilst on tour in Iraq, Rob's mental health declined - and continued to worsen after his tour ended, which ultimately led to him being medically discharged.
After he left the army, Rob was introduced to Breaking Ground Heritage - an archaeology Community Interest Company designed by ex-forces personnel and senior archaeologists that facilitates a recovery pathway for injured personnel. Shortly after becoming involved with archaeology, Rob was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to his military service. Military charity Help for Heroes (H4H) helped and supported Rob to secure a place at Winchester University to study archaeology.
"With the help of Help for Heroes, the archaeological training has given me purpose again, I've found my military skills have helped me move forward as they are so transferable.
"I'd like to help others who are leaving and may become a mentor supporting other veterans via Help for Heroes. Learning with other veterans has been an advantage as they speak the same language. This programme has also impacted on the wider family helping myself and the other veterans in their family units. Eventually I aim to embark on a Masters and to support other veterans and to work in the industry."
Amanda Peach, Higher Futures Client Advisor, recalls the story:
"I was approached by H4H to help review Rob's CV to help ensure it could demonstrate that it had 60 higher credits in support of his UCAS application for Winchester University. Working closely with Rob we identified he was more than qualified to take his ultimate ambition forward."
Darren Shorney, Help for Heroes Training and Development Manager, said:
"This represents a great example of the relationship between Help for Heroes and Higher Futures, and demonstrates their continued commitment for our wounded, injured and sick service men and women. Amanda has been a catalyst in enabling Rob to meet the University entry requirements, and has support his application to access Higher Education."