When he left the Army, Will Davidson, 45, struggled with mental health issues for some years and found it difficult to regain a sense of purpose. After going through counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder linked to his time in service, Will was referred to The Poppy Factory for employment support and is now working for Travis Perkins in a job that loves, in his home town of Northampton.
Will said: “I served for six years in the Grenadier Guards, and we were constantly going back and forth to Northern Ireland. When I came out of the Army I didn’t really have much of an idea about what I was going to do or how I was going to do it.
“I have post-traumatic stress disorder from my time in service. After I came out in 2001, I suffered for quite some time. At first I didn’t do much, then I started driving, but I got very anxious and I really didn’t want to go out on the motorways.
“I never knew what was wrong, then eventually I got some help and started dealing with my condition. In 2013 went to Combat Stress for help and that’s how I heard of The Poppy Factory, when someone from the charity came to talk to us.
“I met Rebecca, my Employability Consultant from The Poppy Factory, at the end of 2017. I nearly didn’t go, but she was really relaxed and made me feel that this was going to be something really positive. It was great to build a rapport with her and do things gradually, so that when I did find a job, I’d be able to stay in it.
“She worked tirelessly to secure a job for me at Travis Perkins and eventually it worked out. I started my new job in October 2018. My working hours really suit me and I’m grateful for all the support I have from my colleagues and Branch Manager.
“My PTSD is kind of unwinding now and I’m fitting in more, but I’m not quite there yet. My working hours are really good for me and I’m really grateful for all the support I have from my colleagues. I usually have three loads to go out with each day and each journey is usually about 50 miles, so it feels quite mild because I don’t have to go out on the motorways and I’m never too far from home.”