My name is Liam and I am 26 years old. In 2010 I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from my time serving in the armed forces.
The transition from service life to civilian life was really hard on me and coping with PTSD I withdrew from society trying to deal with the symptoms of PTSD and drink/drug dependency and I couldn’t see anyway my life was going to get any better, it just got worse as the time passed by.
I was involved with Combat Stress, the leading charity for mental health issues and was engaging in a treatment programme. My mum and me started to raise money for Combat Stress and it was then through one of our events I was introduced to a good friend of mine called James Alexander who owned a tree surgery company and he took the time to help me on the way to the career I now have and love.
James took me out on jobs and showed me the ropes of a groundsman and helped me up my first tree, I knew at the top of the 60ft Cedar this was the career for me and I had found a sense of peace at last. James then introduced me to Brampton Valley Training where I met Dane Wood who took the time to help me on my pursuit to becoming a fully qualified arborist.
Through Dane I went out and managed to get different charities like SSAFA, Help for Heros, Royal British Legion, Army of Angles, Civvy Street and the help of a family member to get funding for a number of courses and PPE.
In the space of around 6 months I then went onto gain City & Guilds CS30, CS31, CS32, CS38, CS39, CS40, Woodchipper, Stumpgrinder, UA1, UA2, strimmer, brush cutter and a first aid qualification.
I now work for Brampton Valley Training as an arborist working in the tree team alongside Dane Wood and the rest of the team.
I now have a fun life full of possibilities, thanks to the kind hearted people who have become really good friends and took the time to help me and introduce me back to life through becoming an arborist in a career that I really enjoy and love. I have come from a dark place but have managed to turn my life around through the help of these people who just wanted me to be happy and believed in me.
Posted on January 28th 2015