John lands on his feet at M&S
John McHugh is the first to admit his life has been eventful. The 53-year-old from Beeston, Nottinghamshire spent much of his childhood in care and then joined the Parachute Regiment when he was 17. Whilst in the Paras, he sustained life-threatening back and head injuries in a parachute accident only to defy the odds and resume his forces career in the Tank Regiment.
However, when family commitments forced him to return to Civvy Street in 1985 John faced possibly his biggest challenge; finding a new career that fitted with his role as a single parent to a large family.
“I had dozens of part-time and temporary jobs, but nothing for most of the past 10 years,” said John, who has difficulties with his short term memory as a result of the head injury sustained in his parachute accident and also has dyslexia.
Referred to Remploy’s city-centre branch in Nottingham, he received specialist one-to-one support with his job searching, to help rebuild his confidence and put together a CV that highlighted his skills and abilities to potential employers.
“John comes across as an extremely confident and outgoing person when you first meet him, but it soon became apparent that he was scared about going back to work after such a long period of unemployment,” said Sue French, Remploy’s ‘Armed Forces Champion’ at its Nottingham branch. “He is a very proud man and asking for help was very tough. But we were able to provide expert advice and, crucially, spend time helping to prepare him to get back to work.”
John then successfully undertook an accredited four-week Marks & Start Logistics’ training and work placement programme, at the end of which he was immediately offered a role as a warehouse operative at Marks & Spencer’s new Distribution Centre in Castle Donington. John is grateful for the support he has received from Remploy and his new employer. “Sue and her colleagues – and the M&S team were brilliant. They encouraged and cajoled me and gave me the confidence to go for this job, which I absolutely love.
“I was nervous when I started my new role, but the training provided by M&S has been first class, inspirational! I have learnt so much in a short space of time. It only goes to show that there is a job out there for everyone.”