Paul’s successful career in the military as a helicopter engineer was cut short when he suffered a serious brain injury as a result of a cycling accident.
After a year in hospital, Paul was preparing to move back home and, although not yet ready for employment due to the effects of his injury, his wife and his Occupational Therapist felt he would benefit from some activity.
It was at this point that Paul met Elaine from Step Together Volunteering.
After spending some time getting to know Paul, it was clear he still had a passion for helicopters. Within a month, Elaine had helped Paul to start volunteering at the Museum of Army Flying. He began with dusting the exhibits and it was immediately obvious he still knew his way around a helicopter.
Today, Paul is currently involved in dismantling part of an airframe at the museum and the staff hope that he will be able to move on to reassembling it once it has been cleaned and repaired.
Elaine also supported Paul to get involved with other volunteering projects over the summer. With his interest in history, Paul participated in the Breaking Ground Heritage WW1 Tank Build project, constructing a wooden replica of a WW1 tank, as well as the Breaking Ground Heritage archaeology dig on an Iron Age site at Chisenbury.
Paul really enjoyed the volunteering opportunities and his wife and his carer have both noticed a significant improvement in Paul’s concentration and are surprised at how much he is achieving through volunteering. Paul’s wife also finds herself worrying a little less about him now as she knows he is doing something he feels is useful.
As well as continuing at the museum, Paul has also already signed up to start volunteering at the Dogs Trust next month and volunteer again on the tank build over winter.
Each year, Step Together helps over 300 wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel and veterans across the UK to rebuild their lives. Our Rehabilitation through Volunteering programme supports WIS service personnel, veterans and their families across the UK to make significant change in their lives, through 1-1 support and active engagement in the local community as a part of their recovery and resettlement. If you would like to know more, please contact us on [email protected]