Sport and fitness - student stories
Gregg Stephenson, Veteran Liaison Support Officer
Tell us about your current job role?
I am a veteran liaison support officer for Walking with the Wounded and hold a honorary contract with the NHS.
What are the best and worst parts of the job?
Supporting veterans' mental health is an incredibly rewarding job and working closely with community mental health teams is very interesting. Worst part is lots and lots of meetings!
How did you get the job and how does it link to your career so far?
I was the lead physical training instructor in an NHS rehabilitation gym and saw the opportunity as a great way of developing more knowledge surrounding mental health. I'm very interested in the benefits of exercising and this appeared like a great way to progress my passion.
Why did you choose to study at the OU?
I have a young family, play sport and work so having the ability to log on at anytime and anywhere is fantastic. The engaging and inclusive environment suits me.
What impact has your disability had on your career if any and what has helped you?
My disability meant a medical discharge from the military and has made aspects of physical training difficult, for example I am keen to get accredited as a strength and conditioning coach and they require demonstrations so it can be frustrating but there is always an option or a workaround. Support is available!
How has your military experience been relevant to your current role?
I work directly with veterans so it’s great to be able to rely on shared values but also in terms of facing challenging situations and developing plans to achieve goals.
What advice would you give to other veterans seeking a new career?
Be open, honest and give it your best effort. There is a wonderful support network that can help you develop a strategy in a field of interest to you. Keep an open mind because gaining higher education level qualifications will open doors you may not have considered.