On 27th March, learners on the Employability and Childcare Study Programme met British Army Veteran, Shaun Stocker as part of BLESMA’s Drive Project.
The brilliant project allows veterans to visit schools and education providers to share their personal story of overcoming adversity. After this, they assist a professional workshop facilitator in leading a motivational workshop to explore the reality of adversity and how to become resilient.
The group were spellbound as Shaun recounted his experience of being injured in Afghanistan, losing both legs, a finger and being blinded. He shared his journey of recovery over more than 5 years and countless operations to where he is now, with 2 sophisticated prosthetic legs, no vision in one eye but 30% vision in the other, and now running a successful business.
“It was amazing to think all that happened to him at just 19. I am almost that old and I can’t imagine having 5 years of treatment – that’s a quarter of my life. Shaun is such an inspiration.” Said one of the learners.
During the workshop, the learners completed activities to identify healthy coping strategies when dealing with adversity, such as talking to somebody and using music or exercise.
Tutors Maria Miller and Jeannette Attryde explained the impact they hoped the session would have: “A number of our learners face multiple challenges and to hear Shaun’s story can give them a bit of perspective. It also helped them to see that even when you face the worst situations in life, you can recover, you can make a better life and you can succeed.”