Health problems kept me unemployed for 12 years - now I'm living the dream

“I had this heart condition for 12 years. I had to go bankrupt as I couldn’t pay my bills.”

Tony had to take 12 years out of work due to a health issue, but once he’d recovered, he wanted to use his skills again. Find out about how he went from leaving his job to successfully retraining over a decade later.

Tony studied GCSEs but left school at 16 to join the army. He served for around five and a half years in Germany and Cyprus. When he left, he worked for a construction company, but had to leave due to ill-health. He only had 25% heart function and was out of work for 12 years.

After recuperating from a heart transplant, Tony contacted a charity that helps ex-forces personnel get back into work and completed a foundation course in plastering and bricklaying. The charity provided funding during the course.

He was anxious about returning to work but got back into it quickly. His old skills came back to him and he worked alongside others on the course who shared their new skills with him. Tony now works as a carpentry multi-trade operative and feels he’s back in control of his life.

“Life’s changed. I’ve got my confidence back, got a purpose to myself again.”
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