From athlete's to army veterans the Morson Ambassadors programme partners with inspiring individuals who can motivate and educate our clients, candidates and employee's.
Our ambassadors are from different backgrounds with a range of life experiences, but they all share a drive, determination and integrity which is why they are part of the Morson family.
From breaking down barriers with mental health and raising autism awareness to championing women in the workplace and resettlement, our ambassadors bring new perspectives and positive influence.
Current Morson Ambassadors include:
Andy Reid | Afghanistan army veteran and author of 'Andy Reid - Standing Tall'
Corporal Andy Reid lost both his legs and right arm after stepping on an IED plate whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009. After spending only 2 weeks in hospital before returning home after his injury, Andy is a testament to overcoming adversity with a positive mindset.
Andy was chosen as a Morson Ambassador as his determination and optimism means that he is a role model, not only for the forces, but for the wider community.
The partnership between Morson and Andy aims to get more ex-forces personnel into employment by using his knowledge of the forces community in conjunction with Morson's recruitment expertise.
I hope to develop the relationship with Morson by helping to recruit more armed forces personnel. There’s a lot of guys out their who’ve got great skills and when they leave the armed forces some of those skills aren’t used anymore. I can see where within Morson Group those skills can be used. There’s a lot that the armed forces can offer when they leave service and Morson is an ideal place for them to explore that.
We hope this partnership will develop and grow, making a real difference to the resettlement of forces personnel.
Adrian Head, Morson client development manager, who knows Andy well explains why Andy Reid is such an inspiration and a great ambassador for Morson…
Andy’s been through a lot of adversity himself, but he doesn’t lose sight of people who are less fortunate than he is. He’s able to connect with these people. He understands that coming out of a period of the navy, army or airforce and trying to transition across into civvy street can be difficult.
Morson have a demonstrable track record of putting ex-forces people into work, assignments and permanent employment and we want to build on this. We want to put that something back and Andy is going to be able to help us do that.
Callum Smith has taken time out from his preparations for his forthcoming world title fight with George Groves to lend his support to World Autism Awareness Day. The aim of the World Autism Awareness Day is to highlight the hurdles that people with autism face daily. There are around 700,000 people living with the condition in the UK and efforts are being made to raise awareness, educate and help make the world a friendlier place for autistic people. It’s a cause close to the hearts of the fighting Smith brothers from Liverpool – their sister Holly is autistic. “She’s 17 and was diagnosed when she was two,” Callum explained. “She’s non-verbal and it’s had a big impact on the family. It became a 24/7 job for my mum and dad. She needs care all the time so it’s tough, but she’s a diamond of a kid. She has good and bad days, but she’s fun to be around. “When she was first diagnosed we had no idea what it [autism] was. There is more and more awareness about it now.” Each Smith – Paul, Stephen, Liam and Callum – fight with the word ‘Autism’ emblazoned across the back of their shorts. It’s a simple idea but one that’s proved effective. “People come up and ask, ‘what’s autism?’ You explain it and it’s another person that understands,” said Callum. “We’ve got a big platform and with social media and stuff, we just try and get it out there as much as we can. “What’s hard to understand about autism is that you could have five autistic people and every on of them could be completely different. The spectrum is so big. “When we’d go out for meals when Holly was a kid, she’d see a drink on someone’s table and she’d pick it up. We’d have to explain that she didn’t know any different. Nowadays, I think more people would realise she’s autistic and know how to handle her.” The Smith brothers have used their profile to go into schools and talk to children about autism. They’re also involved with their old amateur boxing club, The Rotunda, which has an autistic class every fortnight. “Kids come into the gym and they can do whatever they want. It’s growing all the time with more and more people coming. They love it and the feedback we’re getting is really good.” Along with helping to raise awareness about autism, Callum is currently preparing for the biggest fight of his career. He takes on George Groves in the final of the World Boxing Super Series with the latter’s WBA super-middleweight title also on the line. The date is yet to be finalised but is expected to take place in July.Find out more
Boxer Ben Sheedy has become the latest to join #TeamMorson, joining our impressive roster of fighters. Training with Ensley Bingham at Moss Side Boxing, Ben wakes up at the break of dawn every day to keep fit while simultaneously working as a self-employed bricklayer. We caught up with Ben after an afternoon session at the gym to talk to him about his boxing career, working life and how doing an apprenticeship has shaped the kind of person he is. “My Dad’s friend used to box, and took me boxing and then I just carried on from there and it snowballed. I fell in love. I wanted to compete, I didn’t just want to use it for self defence.” Having to balance working life with his fighting career is something that sets Ben apart from boxers who are further along their paths. Ben works every day while fitting time in for training which, despite something that has proven tricky over the years. “I boxed for a few years and then when the recession hit and work wasn’t as readily available in Manchester so I was doing a lot of travelling to get to work so I couldn’t get to the gym. I was going to the Lake District, Wales and down south, all sorts of places. I had a few years out and then the minute the work picked up and I could be back in Manchester I was straight back in the gym. It’s a juggling act at the minute between training and working to pay the mortgage. I’ve worked my way up the ladder in that sense as well. I work mainly in Manchester subcontracting on sites doing new build houses. “ Ben has built himself up from leaving school with minimum qualifications to being self-employed, and the route he took towards this was through an apprenticeship. “I didn’t particularly like class work. I didn’t get very good GCSE’s, so I went and did aptitude tests at colleges all around Manchester. I ended up getting in at Carillion in Salford and served a two and a half year apprenticeship with them. I spent the first few months in the centre and then a few months on site. I got put with a bricklayer and had to work hard. I was 16, and learnt my trade. That lasted a few years before I went self-employed. I’m massively for apprenticeships. If you’ve got the work ethic I think it’s a great thing to do in any trade. I think it’s a very understated thing now. Not as many people are doing apprenticeships as there should be.” The parallels between his early career as a fighter and his formative days working on site during his apprenticeship are something Ben is keen to highlight, and sees this as a great strength. “In a sense, apprenticeships, you start, you go to college, you do work experience and that’s almost like your first ten fights as a pro. It’s your apprenticeship stage. I feel like I’m in a better place because I’ve been a bricklayer and I’ve done an apprenticeship and served my time.” Ultimately, Ben recognises that if he is to be a success as a professional boxer, there will come a time when he has to make a very important decision. “The sooner I can put my trowel down and not actually have to go and work the better for me. To go to training and then go to work and lay bricks it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but being part of #TeamMorson now is a massive help and a step towards it.”Find out more
“I live and breathe for my horses. If you love it, you put up with the bad days and it makes you more hungry for the better days.” While the wait for a female-ridden winner of the Grand National continues, Team Morson ambassador Bryony Frost raced brilliantly on Milansbar and placed 5th. Horse and rider raced prominently throughout the steeplechase but found the competition at the business end too strong. We spoke to Bryony, daughter of 1989 Grand National winner Jimmy Frost, last year as she continues to be a rising star in the sport that she loves. Awarded the Stobart Jockey of the Month prize for November, a month which included wins on Paul Nicholls’ Black Corton at Cheltenham and her father’s Triple Chief in Taunton, and now highly praised for her performance at the National, 22-year old Frost has made a name for herself in the sport it always seemed inevitable she would pursue. “It’s in my blood, racing. It’s not just from my Dad either. It’s my grandparents and further back. My earliest memory would be difficult to say because it’s sort of always been my life. Since I could sit up I had this toy donkey. They [her parents] plonked me on him and I wasn’t allowed off him or else I wasn’t allowed back on. So I stayed on him all day!” While it was arguably a given that the family passion would soon become her own passion, the infant Bryony certainly didn’t need any persuasion. “I had my first ride on a racehorse with Dad on my 9th birthday. I asked him when I was about 5 if I could ride out with him and he said no because I was too little. I said ‘OK then, when I’m 9 can I?’. I plucked that age out the sky! He thought I would never remember, so said ‘yeah, yeah of course. I’ll take you on your 9th birthday.’ Cut to a scene of me jumping up and down on his bed at 5:30 in the morning on my 9th birthday!” Frost grew up and went from ponies to hunting, to show-jumping and then on into racing. She turned professional in July 2017, with her first ride being on her father’s horse Grissom at Southwell. We asked her about how she feels as a young woman making it in the sport. “It’s a very male dominated sport, and sometimes it’s a case of ‘if a girl messes up, it’s because she’s a girl.’ It’s nothing to do with the logistics of whether the horse got tired or it was beaten by a better horse – no. But I made sure that was never going to be an occurrence. I pushed the body hard with weights and physical training, harder than you would if you were a boy.” Did the fact that the sport she loves is so male-dominated ever deter her in her formative years? “No, it angered me. I wanted to prove a point, break the mould and the perception that’s there.” We talk about the stereotype of a lot of young girls being into horses at a very young age, but only a small number looking to pursue it as a career and a passion. “In any walk of life, going from hobby to career is a big step-up and it’s tough. You’ve got to go and grab it and know there’s probably going to be a lot of tears. Or you don’t do it and you pursue something that’s maybe a little easier and not quite so dependent on ‘you might not make it.’ Frost acknowledges that she’s privileged to have the family background that she does and that this has been a considerable aid during the tougher times. “I admire people who have come through all walks of life where they haven’t had a leg-up from family or friends – those that have done something completely off their own wing and said ‘I want to go down that road’, this random stretch of tarmac.”Find out more
In Joe Gallagher’s sweltering Bolton gym, surrounded by training fighters like Anthony Crolla, Paul Butler and Callum Smith, we sit down with Miss GB Natasha Jonas, Great Britain’s female boxing ambassador and #TeamMorson athlete to discuss being a female role model, getting more women into the sport and how her two year old daughter knows when it’s fight night. “As a new mum and a first time mum, there’s so many things that you get told. You’re trying to do what’s best for them and not spoil them – give them what you can but not too much. You struggle with that for the first year or so. But once my daughter was in her routine I was left with a lot of time and thought, what I am going to do? So I decided to come back to boxing and it all fell into place!” Tash’s journey back to boxing, this time as a professional, after the birth of her daughter Mela couldn’t have gone much better so far. Since her comeback fight against Monika Antonik in June 2017, she has fought a further five times, all bouts resulting in comfortable wins. This has elevated herself to a new level within the sport. Tash recognises the importance of attracting more women into male dominated sports, and is only too aware of the platform from which she can now do this. “The opportunity is there for us now. We knew once the Olympic thing was over that people would get behind it and enjoy women’s boxing once they saw it at its elite level. It’s going to grow, and it’s good to be a pioneer in starting that. I don’t want it to be easy, I want it to be tough because then it means more and if it makes it easier for the women that are coming behind me then I’d rather it be tough. It’s good to be able to speak honestly and truthfully about the sport I’m involved in and try and make it better for the women coming through. I’d rather take it on my shoulders and do the graft and the hard work and break down a couple of barriers.” Being a female role model isn’t something that Jonas anticipated would happen, but it’s clear in her popularity that this is exactly what she has become. “I do get people on social media wishing me well and saying that I’ve inspired them. – coming to the gym just to take photos. It’s a lovely feeling and it’s not something I ever thought would be. It’s an honour and pleasure to be someones idol and be looked up to. I didn’t really think of myself as a role model until after the Olympics, when I looked back and thought, ‘wow we really did something great there and I was part of something’. In the moment, I didn’t think like that. To me I was just a boxer doing what I do and trying to do my best.” Her two year old daughter is also quickly becoming her biggest fan, too, and Tash is pleased to be one of her early “She’s got her routine and I’ve got mine! Obviously she sees me on the TV. I went home with my traditional two braids and she said “mummy’s boxing” – so she knows that my braids mean it’s fight night! I’m just happy that she can see me doing stuff that’s not conventional. If you’ve got a dream and you believe yourself and work hard and try your best, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”Find out more
Sale Sharks Community Trust delivers powerful mental health event for Morson employees and clients #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek We were delighted to host Sale Sharks Community Trust this week as they delivered their inspiring ‘Balls to That – Mental Health Awareness’ session to over 40 Morson employees and clients at our head office. Designed to raise awareness of mental health symptoms and coping techniques, the talk was led by army veteran and deaf rugby star Craig Monaghan who uses his powerful, personal journey to educate others on how to tackle mental health head-on. We were thrilled that veteran and Morson Ambassador, Andy Reid, opened the event, giving a brief overview of his own mental health struggles after losing limbs in an IED blast whilst on tour in Afghanistan. Handing over to Craig, he finished his introduction by highlighting the importance of communication, advising the audience to get out of the habit of answering ‘how are you?’ with a standard ‘I’m fine’ if there is an issue. The rest of the session was led by Sale Sharks Community Rugby Coach, Jack Leech and Craig Monaghan. Craig’s army career came to an abrupt end when his battalion was attacked by the Taliban in one of the worst attacks on British soldiers in Afghan. 8 of his comrades died in the attack and Craig was left with brain damage, deafness and severe physical wounds. His challenges with mental health started here. PTSD and social isolation – techniques to cope Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social isolation, Craig spoke passionately about how he suffered from the guilt of being left alive while his friends died and the loss of his army career, leading to three failed suicide attempts. After a medical discharge, Craig struggled with everyday tasks and became angry at the world, lashing out at the people who were trying to help him. ‘In the army, you’re a warrior – therefore, you don’t feel like you can admit that you have a problem, you have to be strong. My friends had been killed so I felt like there was no one left who would understand what I’d been through. I was scared to admit that I was struggling’. Consequently, despite there being mental health resources for ex-forces personnel, it took him several years to become receptive to the idea of getting support. ‘Don’t get me wrong, the help was there but I used to sit in the councillor’s office, and not talk. I had the mentality that it was everyone else’s problem, not mine, I wasn’t ready to admit or accept that I needed help’. Craig explained that the change in him happened like a switch, ‘one day I just said, no I’m not fine, I can’t shake this feeling – and that put me on the road to recovery’. With the support of the people around him, he started to open up and talk about his experiences. One of the main techniques he uses is setting a goal each week, ‘just getting out of bed used to be a challenge so I’d set that as my goal, then went onto things like running to the end of the street, training for 5 minutes longer per day’. Small goal setting was key giving him focus and ensured he didn’t get de-motivated. How sport became my voice His road to recovery is ongoing but through regular professional mental health help and getting back into rugby, Craig has conquered the seemingly impossible. His list of achievements since medical discharge is extensive, including being the first Afghanistan veteran to become a full-time athlete, para-triathlons, and competing in the Warrior Games. After being told he would never play rugby again he has battled to get back into the sport he loves, playing internationally for England Deaf Rugby (6 caps). ‘In fact, I’m actually delivering this session with a broken leg. I broke a record 10 days ago by playing rugby for 29 hours and 30 minutes, broke my leg in the process’ The impact on us Jack Leech (Community Rugby Coach and founder of Balls to That) attributed to the techniques which helped Craig to manage his mental health issues such as open communication, an active lifestyle and setting small achievable goals rather than large challenges can be effective coping mechanisms. Craig’s story highlights that while his issues with anxiety and sleep deprivation stem from his time in the army, mental health is universal. ‘I have friends who suffer from anxiety and they’ve never been to war. Mental health is something that affects many of us and it’s about finding techniques to cope with it – for me sport was a huge part of the recovery process because I’m naturally competitive. For other’s it’ll be different, it’s about finding your drivers, being confident enough to work out what makes a positive change in you’. Jack started the programme having suffered with his own mental health issues after a shoulder injury. He founded Balls to That as an impactful way to raise awareness and to get companies thinking about how to create positive environments. After the session attendees felt more equipped to talk about mental health and deal with everyday challenges and most importantly, they were more confident to help others with their mental health issues. One attendee commented, ‘Superb presentation, it has really helped me. Much more aware of my current mental health state.’ This event highlighted that while Mental Health Awareness Week is a fantastic initiative, the conversation needs to extend beyond just 7 days and instead be a part of our everyday lives. Tackling mental health doesn’t start by forcing people to face their problems, it’s about creating environments where people feel comfortable to share their experiences, their feelings and fears. It’s about recognising the signs and symptoms in yourself and in others and being there when you are needed. So, let’s do the little things that make a difference, let’s say ‘balls to that’ to cliché phrases, let’s be open to conversation and let’s look after each other that little bit more. Watch the video to see Craig and Jack chat about 'Balls to That' and the outcomes of the programme. To get the latest updates follow @MorsonGroup on Twitter or to find out more about the programme contact firstname.lastname@example.org >Find out more
Last week Morson were delighted to host Sale Sharks Community Trust where they delivered their emotive and inspiring mental health awareness session called ‘Balls to That’ to over 40 Morson employees and clients. The session was designed to raise awareness of mental health symptoms and coping techniques, led by army veteran and deaf rugby star Craig Monaghan who uses his powerful, personal journey to educate others on how to tackle mental health head-on. To read the full round-up of the event and watch the video, click here. To refresh, below is a list of signs and symptoms of someone struggling with mental health issues and the key messages taken from ‘Balls to That’ to help you assist a colleague, friend or family member. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS Feeling overwhelmed Out of character Confused thinking Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability) Extreme emotions EG, highs and lows, anger Excessive fears, worries and anxieties Social withdrawal Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits Strange thoughts (delusions) Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations) Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities Suicidal thoughts Numerous unexplained physical ailments Substance use INFORMAL HELP Ask somebody ‘How are you?’ Talk to people Build a support network (EG Sports teams) Refocussing Set small goals Provide opportunities for people Similarly, please see below links that you might find useful should you need them, some of which were mentioned during the talk. https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrtOKqo3J2QIVrRXTCh2o8AfBEAAYASAAEgIY9_D_BwE https://hubofhope.co.uk/ www.mind.org.uk http://www.sane.org.uk/ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/ If you would like more information about Balls to That or any of the other work done by the community trust please email Jack.Leech@salesharks.comFind out more
Morson caught up with professional boxing star and #TeamMorson ambassador Natasha ‘Miss GB’ Jonas on a rare day off. Tash spoke openly about her career ambitions and her most important and challenging role, being a mum. Only in her early 30’s Natasha has already had an impressive amateur boxing career and an entry in the record books, becoming the first female British boxer to fight in the Olympic Games in 2012. After turning professional she has had massive success, sensationally beating Taoussy L'Hadji earlier this year at the Echo Arena in her hometown of Liverpool. But, in true Tash style, she’s hungry for more. “I’d box anywhere as long as it’s a good place, I wouldn’t mind boxing in Madison Square Gardens! The plan has always been the same as it was when I was an amateur, just to be the best boxer that I possibly can be. I think I’ve proved that I’m world-class level so I want go for the world titles and I want to get them as quickly as I can do.” As part of the BBC Get Inspired programme, Tash, is part of a movement which actively promotes sport and boxing for women. She believes that there has been a shift and less focus is placed on sexualising women in sport, consequently, she enthuses that “it’s a great time for boxing and to be a part of the Matchroom set up to be honest.” As a working mum, Tash has been very open about how sport has helped her confidence and it’s these traits that she is keen to pass down to her daughter. “Like my mum did, I just think I will encourage her to be active because I think that there are lots of other things you can learn from that, other than the skill of boxing or the skill of football. You know, I learnt how to work in a team, I learnt how to communicate, I had confidence and I was physically active.” In a final statement, Tash said: “I want to make a mark and let them know I was there.” Watch the video to see the full interview. To keep up-to-date with the latest sporting news from our #TeamMorson ambassadors, follow our twitter page @MorsonGroup and Instagram @weare_morsonFind out more
In October 2009, Corporal Andy Reid, was blown up by a Taliban IED while on patrol with the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan. Despite being injured so badly that he lost both legs and his right arm, the inspirational hero defied the odds and within one month, was meeting up with members of his patrol once again. What Andy has achieved since then is little short of unbelievable. The triple-amputee is a father, husband, skydiver, cyclist, charity fundraiser and now an ambassador of the Morson Group, providing a stronger voice for the excellent work that we do in supporting ex-armed forces personnel to transition and reintegrate into successful civilian careers. Currently, we have more than 500 ex-military personnel working on client projects throughout the UK and overseas. Describing himself as a survivor, not a victim, Andy’s attitude to overcoming adversity and not letting the severity of his injuries prevent him from moving forward has enabled him to become an inspirational motivational speaker. As a Morson Group ambassador, Andy delivered a powerful talk around the power of goal setting and self-belief at our half-yearly event, which was followed by a further evening talk at Lillie Bridge Depot in London with our LUL track gangs working on the Track Delivery Unit. Andy said: “The Morson Group work in a tough industry with lots of pressure to reach targets. Through my own story, I was able to share the importance of goal setting and that by working hard, anything is achievable." “When on site, I talked about the importance of PPE. In Afghan, the body armour that we wear is extremely heavy but having that meant that I suffered no internal injuries during the blast. Some of my patrol lost their eyesight because they didn’t wear their glasses and the shrapnel hit their eyes." “I hope that my story and sharing the challenges that I have and continue to face gave the inspiration needed to push that extra 10 per cent in their daily lives.” Graham Timbers, rail operations director at Morson’s London division, added: “From the moment Andy started talking, we were hooked. He’s an incredible person that’s faced huge challenges. His messages around prioritising tasks and the importance of teamwork, by knowing all your mates have your back, was so powerful and judging by all the pictures and handshakes afterwards, showed how captivating he was." “The nighttime LUL talk was also attended by our clients and even our competitors, to share this experience with the wider rail workforce. It was a night to remember and hopefully, everyone will learn from Andy’s own experiences to inspire an even greater culture towards collaboration and health and safety.” Andy also recently completed the Warrior Challenge, which involved a 400-mile cycle and 125-mile kayak over 14 days in memory of six soldiers killed in an explosion of their Warrior vehicle in Afghanistan in 2012. The Warrior Challenge began in Lytham St Anne’s, where Andy was joined by Morson Group CEO, Ged Mason, for the first leg of the cycle to Huddersfield. If you’re a veteran looking for employment get in touch with email@example.com or for more information go to our dedicated ex-forces page. To search for relevant jobs click here.Find out more
It’s Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30th June. With the UK government finally recognising the need to increase armed forces mental health funding, by committing an extra £220 million over the next decade, Morson sat down with Veterans Andy Reid, Morson Forces Ambassador, and Craig Monaghan, Social Inclusion Officer at Sale Sharks Community Trust to discuss their experiences with PTSD and mental illnesses. Although their mental health challenges stem from incidents which occurred during their time in the army, the coping mechanisms they use to overcome their issues may be useful for all. Both Andy and Craig fought in Afghanistan and, in separate events, sustained life-changing injuries which meant their time as soldiers tragically came to an end. Since then, Andy has gone on to defy all odds and is now a motivational speaker and ambassador to a number of organisations. During his recovery, Craig has been a keen fundraiser and charity volunteer, he has represented his county playing for England Deaf Rugby and set himself many inspiring challenges along the way. But with 7 people being medically discharged from the Armed Forces every day, what help is out there? We speak to Andy and Craig to find out their experiences with PTSD and mental illness. Have any of your fellow ex-servicemen suffered from PTSD or other mental illness? Andy: I think all ex-servicemen will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at some stage in their lives, it may not be immediately after leaving the army, it could be whilst they are still serving in the armed forces or it could be as long as 20, 30 or 40 years later. I think it’s just down to the individual really and it depends on where you’ve served and what you’ve done. But I think at some point throughout your life, all servicemen will suffer from PTSD, in my opinion. Whilst some people may not experience some of the symptoms of PTSD for some years after leaving the armed forces, similarly, due to the culture of the armed forces, some people may delay seeking help for a number of years after they leave. Veterans may decide at the time that they can cope, they may have a fear of criticism or feel that a therapist will not understand or be able to relate to their problems. Craig: My opinion is the same, I think especially for people serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan era. Even the lads that weren’t heavily engaged in the fighting, they still had that risk of I.E.D threat and even the lads that never came across I.E.D’s, they still had the threat of every step that they took could result in injury or worse. But it doesn’t just stop there, I see quite a lot of veterans who were never deployed to a conflict where there was so much fighting or they were heavily engaged by the enemy or anything. Their problems started after the transition period as the military can be a massive bubble. It’s very warm and cuddly, you’re living with your mates, doing what you want and there’s a lot of freedom. Then on the outside, it’s a lot different and I think a lot of lads struggle with the social isolation of getting out [of the army], in terms of they’ve not got their buddies across the hallway from them so then they feel a bit lonely. Over the course of Armed Forces week, approximately 49 soldiers will have their lives changed forever. Above, Craig touched on the social isolation some soldiers feel when they leave the army in terms of not having friends across the corridor. This type of anxiety can affect all aspects of a veteran’s life and even stretch to worrying about future employment. A lot of the servicemen will never have been to a job interview, never had to write a CV or sit in an office. What professional mental health support did you receive when you left the army? Andy: For myself, when I was down at Headley Court [Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre] we used to sit down with a mental health specialist as part of our weekly programme and they would just ask if you are having any thoughts at the moment or ask you how you’re dealing with the situation etc. I’ve not looked for any professional help at the minute, I find talking to friends and colleagues who I’ve served with and I’ve met some fantastic civilians along the way who are now close friends, chatting to them really helps me move forward. One of the main themes highlighted when talking to Andy and Craig was how much simply talking can help. Both for Army Veterans and the general public, whether that be with a doctor, colleague, family member or friend, sharing your experiences, feelings and fears can be that be that first step to tackling mental health head-on. Craig: I engaged with several charities both whilst I was still in the army and afterwards, my hand was sort of forced to speak to people but I never really addressed [my problems], I’d just sit there in silence. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t want to speak, it was probably just that I just wasn’t ready. So I think I engaged with it too early, I think that’s really important. Whereas now, every now and again I will engage with professional help but I see people around me as my support too. I’m still in a WhatsApp group with everyone that I was with [in Afghanistan] and even this morning we were just chucking abuse at each other and that sort of thing gets me through probably more than anything. What have been the main things that have helped you to overcome your mental health challenges? Andy: On the anniversary of me being injured I like to do something special. I’ve climbed Snowdon on the anniversary, one time we were in San Francisco on holiday, this year I’ll be christening my little girl. I like to do something memorable so I’m not remembering back 13th October I was in Afghanistan, I’m remembering back to the 13th October last year when I was in San Francisco. It makes it a bit more of a happy time to remember rather than going back to that day. There are a number of charities which can provide help and support for veterans suffering from their mental health which include: SSAFA - A charity that provides lifelong emotional and practical support for active armed forces personnel. Combat Stress - The charity offers a range of mental health treatment and support services for veterans. MIND - Provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Veterans Gateway - They put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need Watch the full video to see Andy and Craig talking about their own personal journey with mental health.Find out more
Andy Reid's Resettlement Plan | Morson are thrilled to launch our recruitment resettlement guide on the centenary of the RAF. Written in partnership with veteran and Morson Forces Ambassador Andy Reid, the guide aims to aid ex-forces members transition to civilian employment. Including features such as 'Preparing to Leave the Armed Forces - Andy's Ten Step Guide' plus CV and interview tips and more light hearted content such as the 'Armed Forces to Civvy Jargon Buster' the plan aims to be informative and relatable. Click here to get your copy of Andy Reid's Resettlement Plan Speaking about the project Andy reiterated how passionate he is about using his personal experiences to support veterans once they leave the armed forces - As a veteran of The 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment and Morson Forces Ambassador, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to transition from the armed forces into a normal, civilian life. Ex-forces personnel have a lot to offer in the civilian world, often in ways they won’t immediately realise. It is my aim to bridge the gap between these two worlds so veterans are ready to become skilled, sought-after candidates ready to transition into work. One of the main things I noticed when appearing at career transition events as a Morson forces ambassador is the language barrier between ex-forces personnel and the recruiters who are looking to help them. This guide is designed to offer some help to veterans as they look to take their first steps in the civilian world. In particular, I’ll walk you through some of my top tips for preparing to leave the armed forces. I attend careers events with Morson across the country, so come along and we’ll help you take those first steps into your new life. Click here to get your copy of Andy's Resettlement Plan. Get #MoreFromMorson and search our latest jobs or to find out more about how Morson can support ex-forces personnel, visit our Morson Forces page.Find out more
The annual Sale Sharks summer BBQ took place on July 6th and served as a time to reflect on last year’s rollercoaster season and the aims of the squad for the Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaign ahead of them. The team trained with an extra spring in their step with the excitement elevating due to the recent reveal of the fixtures for the upcoming season. Morson caught up with coach, Steve Diamond who shared his thoughts on the positives and negatives from last year that can help the club grow in the future. ‘The big areas that were good last year was our ability to score from anywhere. We played a really exciting brand, sometimes a bit flippant and that bit us a couple of times’ Long term success very much seems to be the plan for the club and investing from the ground up is key to achieving this according to Steve. ‘Now we’re creeping up on other teams as we’ve spent money on selective recruitment and things behind the scenes such as the academy, we can get some consistency in the squad’ The importance of consistency going forwards was reiterated by co-owner, Simon Orange who discussed his ambitions for the club for next season and beyond. ‘Within our five years to win it (Gallagher Premiership) would be great, Ged and I have got our plan. I think if we win it, that’s a bonus but to get into that top four and to stay there regularly is as much as we have targeted.’ Former Sharks winger Mark Cueto had an abundance of praise for the current side and has no doubt in the talent stemming throughout the club. ‘We’ve got a team that is probably one of the most exciting and attacking sides to watch in the Premiership. Rohan Van Rensberg, Faff De Clerk and Jono Ross, these boys are world class players and are the type of players the club hasn’t had for maybe a decade’ One of the players that is sparking anticipation in the side is latest signing, Chris Ashton. Steve Diamond believes the winger will become a key player for the Sharks. ‘I just think he brings a raft of experience with him. He’s a class player, always has been and bringing his professionalism into a young squad will help’ Simon Orange closed his discussion with a key point of why the fans are so important to any triumphs the club has going forward. ‘You need to come and support the Sharks because if we’re going to get in that top four and stay there, we need supporters to come down’ Watch the video below to see the full interview. To keep up-to-date with the latest sporting news from our #TeamMorson ambassadors, follow our twitter page @MorsonGroup and Instagram @weare_morsonFind out more
#TeamMorson boxer Ben Sheedy balances working full time as a bricklayer with a budding career as a boxer. A win in his next fight puts him one step closer to putting down the trowel for good. After joining #TeamMorson earlier this year, undefeated middleweight prospect Ben Sheedy is just days away from the biggest fight of his career as he faces Matthew Wigglesworth for the Central Area title. The fight takes place at the Macron Stadium on Friday 27th July as both men look to keep their undefeated records intact. Morson caught up with Ben at ‘Champs Camp’ in Moss Side to see how preparations have gone. ‘Everything’s been great, I was lucky enough to spar with Rocky Fielding who’s just won a World Title which was obviously great to know you’ve been a part of that camp. We’ve been down to Jennings gym as well with Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Jeffers so I’m more than ready training wise’ Thanks to the help of Morson and other sponsors, the bricklaying Boxer has been able to take time off from his day job in the final weeks leading up to this fight in order to put all of his focus into the huge opportunity. However, Ben still reminisces hectic fight weeks where taking time off work wasn’t a luxury he could have. ‘You’re still making weight, you’re thinking about the fight and I was working Monday to Friday nine hours a day. It was hard work to say the least’ Sheedy has fought in front of a variety of different crowds from small hall shows to stacked arenas. One of the more surreal moments of the Manchester born fighter’s career so far was boxing in front of a packed Manchester Arena directly before Anthony Crolla defeated Ismael Barosso back in 2016. ‘It was a box ticked that in my second pro fight I walked out in front of 10,000 people in an arena like that. I’ve done that and not many fighters will do that in their career unless they get a championship fight’ Trainer, Ensley Bingham offered an insight into what kind of fighting style fans can expect when watching Sheedy compete. ‘He’s a box-fighter which means he can punch, he can move and he’s a punch picker. Those are the sort of things we’ve been working on and his development is coming along really nicely’ Finally, Ben gave his prediction of how Friday’s fight is going to play out. ‘It’ll be a good fight. It’ll be a tough fight but I will come out on top’Find out more