An ex-soldier whose army career came to an end after a horrific car crash has praised a support service which helped him to rebuild his life.
Sheffield man Eddie Oldham carried out Royal duties and fought in the Gulf War after joining the 1st Batallion Coldstream Guards in 1990.
But just five years later, while preparing to go out to Northern Ireland, he was badly hurt in a collision. The 42-year-old spent time in a coma and required extensive surgery and rehabilitation for his injuries.
After being discharged on medical grounds he returned to his home city, where the local branch of Remploy Employment Services helped get him back into work.
And more recently, when his job as a civil service messenger finished, Remploy’s new veterans champion for South Yorkshire Chris Marshall worked with him to help him land a job as a security guard in the Dronfield branch of Sainsbury’s.
Now Eddie, of West Bar, wants to let fellow veterans know support is available.
He said: “I bet there are a lot of lads out there who are needing help to find work or prepare for it but they don’t know it’s there. They come back and they feel a bit abandoned.
“There’s a lot of focus on the physical injuries – those who lose arms and legs – but there’s not enough awareness about what serving does to the mental health side of things.
“Getting back into work gets you a life back. You probably won’t find a more willing candidate than ex-armed forces. Remploy have been very good for me, they are still supporting me now.”
More than 30 former military men and women have been given support from the Sheffield branch of Remploy, on Campo Lane in the city centre, since July.
Remploy is encouraging businesses across South Yorkshire to sign up to community covenants, where employers pledge to give special recognition of veterans.
Chris said: “Eddie is a great example of what Remploy can do for people.”