A WOUNDED veteran who suffered from depression and anxiety has landed his dream job at Rolls-Royce thanks to a partnership between Help for Heroes and Mission Motorsport.
Mission Motorsport, which has received more than £1million in grant funding from Help for Heroes, was set up to aid the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations by providing opportunities through motorsport.
Simon Roxbee, 42, of Shoreham-by-Sea, was introduced to Mission Motorsport after he contacted the Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds team for help dealing with his mental health.
He joined the Army in 1991 and served as a Vehicle Mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, serving in Cyprus, Canada and the Balkans. Due to his military commitments, he missed his grandfather’s funeral and was unable to be with his mother and sister as they underwent cancer treatment. Being unable to be with his family when they needed him the most, led to him leaving the Army in 2001.
It was then that his troubles started and he began suffering from periods of depression and anxiety. When one particular bout left him unable to work, he contacted Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds, which provides free and confidential support to veterans, their families and the families of those still serving, who are living with anxiety, depression, stress, anger or who wish to change their drinking habits.
Simon had phone sessions with Hidden Wounds before being referred to his local NHS Service for face-to-face counselling.
Help for Heroes put Simon in touch with Mission Motorsport so that he could engage in recovery sport. In July, Simon joined 16 other wounded Armed Forces men and women who attained a NVQ Level 2 qualification in Stewarding during a four-day course at the Silverstone British Formula 1 Grand Prix. He went on to join the rally service team on the Defender Challenge Rally, and threw himself into work with Mission Motorsport Livery Suite, learning new skills and developing a fresh perspective.
Through the skills he gained and the contacts he made at Mission Motorsport, he resolved to change his direction in life. His quality was clear, and through exploiting the networks available to him, he was soon in the enviable position of having multiple job offers. Simon accepted a prestigious role as a Vehicle Analysis Technician at Rolls Royce in October, and over time hopes to progress to become an engineer.
Simon said Help for Heroes and Mission Motorsport have been hugely helpful in allowing him to replace some of the elements of his life that he has neglected since leaving the forces.
“Help for Heroes and Mission Motorsport have helped me to organise what was helpful and unhelpful in my life,” he explained. “This has allowed me to get a clear idea of what I am seeking in order to prevent reoccurrence of the anxiety and depression. This has been the most extraordinary period, and I feel very lucky, and thankful. It's still a work in progress, but eventually I hope to find the place where I feel I truly 'belong'.”
In the last four years Mission Motorsport has delivered 3000 beneficiary training days of motor sport for over 850 beneficiaries leading to over 150 placements and, in 2014-2015, more than 50 jobs.