Falkirk Army Veteran supported in recovery by Help for Heroes

Monday 19 December 2016

Army Veteran Alex Hornall has taken his first steps on the road to recovery after attending a course run by Help for Heroes.

The 65-year-old from Falkirk served with Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in England, Germany and Northern Ireland, working on armoured tanks until 1977, when a serious knee injury cost him promotion and eventually his army career.

Alex went on to find a job as a Transport Manager, but fell ill three years ago and was then found to have other health problems, resulting in several operations, and subsequently agreed to terminate his employment last year. This has impacted his mental health and he has also been suffering from anxiety, anger and temper outbursts.

Alex was recently put in touch with Help for Heroes by another veteran from Falkirk, and started getting support through the Band of Brothers Fellowship.

Although daunted at first, Alex then went on a week-long Pathfinder Experience course at Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick last month, which enabled him to learn more about his strengths, skills and opportunities for the future, including employment.

Alex said: “When I first went on the course it was quite intense. It really opened my eyes and made me realise my problems were worse than I first thought. But it has also helped me to face up to things and find new ways of dealing with them. Joining the Help for Heroes Band of Brothers Fellowship has made a big difference to me. It’s been so helpful meeting people in a similar situation and knowing I can talk to them, as well as going to the various activities and events.”

Alex’s wife Doreen accompanied him on his recent visit to the Recovery Centre. He added: “She learned a lot that week about the support available from Help for Heroes.” Alex is due to return to Phoenix House in February to do a follow-up course.

If you're looking for career support, find out how Help for Heroes can support you. 

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