Navy Veteran sails the Thames to raise awareness of RBLI's lifeworks course!

Date: Wednesday August 23, 2017 at 1:56pm

Graeme came on our LifeWorks course after he was medically discharged from the Royal Navy. Last year he took on a #BeBraveWithMe challenge to raise funds to support Britain's Bravest, climbing the O2 with Major Heather Stanning and a number of other veterans who had been supported by RBLI.

Now, he's taking on his next challenge and sailing his steam boat down the Thames from Oxford to Erith over a weekend. The challenge aims to raise awareness of the support provided by RBLI, BFRS and Transport For London in Graeme's journey since the leaving the Forces.

"After I was injured back in 2009 it left me with some severe challenges. As a result I was determined to not only continue my hobbies but really push myself to see what I could achieve.

As a small boy I enjoyed sailing and messing around in boats and built my first dingy when I was 12. So I thought building a boat would be a great way to deal with the complex regional pain syndrome I currently suffer with.

"When trying to work out what to build, I thought I'd combine my love of all things steam and boats. With help from my father and a good friend (who did all the heavy lifting), the steam boat Gladstone was born.

"Although this was great way of taking my mind off pain I needed to get on with my life, after a little research online I came across the LifeWorks programme.

"LifeWorks gave me a sense of purpose again, making me realise that I can still contribute to society. They gave me the tools to update my CV, find careers in the hidden job market and practice interviews until they became second nature. That gave me the confidence to attend a careers day run by the BRFS. This is where I was approached by TFL.​

I was invited to look round, and using my CV we found that I could do several careers within the company. I was then asked to attend several interviews where I put the training given to me by Lifeworks to the test.

I'm proud to say that I have a full time role in sponsorship.

Both TFL and RBLI have been very understanding, patient and supportive, so I decided to give back by organising a challenge, to sail from Oxford to London in three days on the home built steamboat. Nothing I can do will ever be enough to thank TFL, BFRS and RBLI.

You gave me back a sense of purpose and meaning to my life once more."

If you a veteran looking for support to find employment, please contact our LifeWorks team by calling 0800 319 6844 or emailing