Lyndsey Weller joined the Army as a Private in 2008 at the age of 19. She served as an Army Combat Medical Technician. Her service included a tour of Afghanistan and she was medically discharged in 2012 after she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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Even before joining the Army she had always had an ambition to be a paramedic and had hoped to pursue that as a long term career goal. After leaving the Army she worked as a Prison Custody Officer and later took a role at a medical supplies company as a medical technician where she spotted an advert for a student paramedic position on the NHS Website.
A basic requirement for entry on to the course was a C1 Drivers licence which allows those who pass to be able to drive an ambulance. Having looked into the cost of taking the course Lyndsey realised she would not be able to afford the course fee which was in excess of £1000.
She got in touch with SSAFA and she was assigned a caseworker, Al Philip, from the Wokingham and Bracknell Division.
Lyndsey says: “The caseworker went through my finances and living situation and agreed I couldn’t afford to do the training on my own. They went away and raised the money for me a lot quicker than I thought. All I had to do was find the course. SSAFA managed everything else and liaised directly to arrange payment.”
After obtaining her driving qualification Lyndsey was able to apply for the Student Paramedic Course and had to undertake a series of assessments before being successfully accepted onto a course through the East of England Ambulance Service which will begin in January 2015. During the two and a half year course she will be employed by the NHS and will get a foundation degree upon successfully completing the course. At the end of her course she will be able to register as a paramedic.
Talking of the difference SSAFA has made to her life, Lyndsey says: “I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now if it wasn’t for SSAFA. There was no way I could have afforded to do the driving course on my own and it has allowed me to train for my dream job.”