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Stoll: new methods, same level of support
Jordan Deacon (pictured above in the centre of the top row) came to Stoll in February 2019 after a decade in the Armed Forces. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, he was able to sit down for Stoll’s first case study interview done over Zoom, to tell his story of his time in the Forces, how he came to join Stoll, and his work with the Chelsea FC Foundation …
Born and raised in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Jordan (now aged 28) joined the Army at 17, initially as a vehicle mechanic in the REME where, after training, he was posted to 22 Engineer Regiment in Tidworth. While he was with the 22, he was deployed on various operations, taking him across the globe, including Kenya, Canada and Afghanistan, on Operation Herrick.
During this time, Jordan completed his Physical Training Instructor (PTI) course, and was subsequently posted as a PTI to 8 Training Battalion upon promotion to Lance Corporal, where he trained recruits undertaking their trade training in physical training. His last posting would be with the 5 Rifles in Bulford, where he stayed for a short period in Germany prior to leaving the Army in January 2019.
Jordan came back to civilian life looking to work as a self-employed personal trainer. Three weeks into his resettlement leave, he achieved just that, getting a job as a personal trainer in Fulham on a freelance basis. However, while Jordan and his partner Daisy were looking for housing to move in together for the first time, they were finding looking for renting across London difficult, either with agreements falling through at the last hurdle or landlords opting for other tenants. They came across Stoll through an MoD referral scheme, and swiftly after a meeting and viewing one Friday were accepted and moved in on the following Monday.
It’s great having such a good community at Stoll, and you can be a big part of it, especially if you can give back
While Jordan says that his transition to civilian life was not as challenging, being set up with a job and being a part of the Stoll community for 15 months, the transition to social distancing throughout the COVID-19 outbreak has been a significant obstacle. ‘My work has changed a lot due to not being able to train people on a one-to-one basis,’ he says.
‘However, I have used the time to transition to online personal training. This can consist of developing training programmes for clients or using apps such as Zoom and Skype to deliver virtual personal training sessions.’
During this time, Jordan has also been working with the Chelsea FC Foundation and Stoll’s Health & Wellbeing Team to set up two weekly classes on Zoom. This has been vitally important for many of Stoll’s older residents, helping them to preserve a sense of normality under the circumstances, and giving them structure, while also allowing the veterans to see one another via Zoom. Jordan is extremely proud of this work, saying ‘It’s great having such a good community at Stoll, and the fact that you can be a big part of it, especially if you can give back to it like I have done with the foundation sessions.’
For the duration of this period, the Chelsea FC Foundation has loaned Stoll 10 tablets for this purpose, for which everyone at Stoll is incredibly grateful. This, alongside two dozen computers given to Stoll by Computer Aid, has helped boost the capacity of the classes, allowing more veterans to take part.
Find out more
Stoll has been providing support to the Veteran community for more than 100 years and is here to support the next generation of Veterans. For more information about finding a home with Stoll or accessing support, please visit www.stoll.org.uk or call the Outreach Team on 020 7385 2110.
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