A day in the life of...WWTW Employment Advisor, Alex.
We're introducing you to some of the team behind Walking With The Wounded. Meet Alex, one of our Employment Advisors.
Alex has been a Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) Employment Advisor since March 2015. Alex supports residents of two veteran supported accommodation providers; Mike Jackson House and Stoll, and veterans who are being supported by the South East NHS veterans mental health team (TILS). Alex’s role is delivered in partnership with military charity RFEA.
Alex, what is the first thing you do with a client?
One of the first things we would do together is work through an initial assessment so I can understand their goals and we can establish the steps we need to take to reach those goals. Then there’s usually time spent on CVs, job interview skills and job searching. We use action plans throughout the process so that we both agree the progress that we intend to make before the next session. Some of the people I work with have never gone through a civilian recruitment process, so I take time to make sure they understand the differences.
I also engage local employers on behalf of my service users so that I can make introductions. I stay in touch with both sides when a job is secured to support with that transition into civilian employment.
What do your service users struggle with?
Mostly my clients are suffering with mental health issues. This
often causes difficulties for them in committing to a pathway
and sticking with it.
When I first started at Mike Jackson house, the clients’
motivation to find work would often be impacted by their
mental health and they often missed appointments. Now
they have seen friends moving through the process,
sustaining employment and moving on, they are more aware
of the opportunities available to them and more engaged.
What does support for veterans look like in your area?
There is a lot of support available in Aldershot for veterans, and I believe I have helped veterans access
support they didn’t know was available. I have great links with local charities, statutory provisions and
What is the most unusual thing you've been asked to do?
That is a good question! I do a lot to support WWTW with their fundraising. If we do not raise the funds, we cannot continue the services for ex-servicemen and women. I’ve appeared on a charity music video, I’ve litter picked with local schools, I’ve delivered a number of presentations to groups and most recently, I appeared on a BBC appeal video.
What would you like to achieve in this role in the future?
Many of the service users I work with need to focus on an immediate job solution. They need income, they might have been out of work for some time and they need a quick result. Working alongside the other military support organisations, it would be great to enable more service users to think about their longer term career goals and how we can work towards that.
And lastly, what has been your proudest moment in this role so far?
Not one single moment, but working with some of my veterans for a very long time; seeing them struggle with life and then seeing them completely turn that around. One of the service users I supported went into IT and then a recruitment role, months later WWTW asked his professional advice to recruit a new member of staff, which was great. A number of the veterans I’ve worked with now want to give something back to WWTW. We have a team of staff from the residence in which I work and a team of current and ex-service users that take part in the Cumbrian Challenge each year. There is still time to sign-up to the event this year, just follow this link!