Supporting Veterans in times of crisis
Veteran and Stoll resident Tina Fairbrass shares her story of how she overcame an extremely difficult time in her life
Tina joined the Navy in 1989. She was eager to learn and quickly qualified as a first-class radio operator. She spent seven years in the Navy and her work included being based in Naples, working for NATO.
Towards the end of Tina’s time in the Navy, she married a sailor. Tina found there was a lot of strain on their relationship during the early years because they were based in two different countries, so she decided to end her career with the Navy in 1996 to focus on her marriage. She was able to take a course during her resettlement, which qualified her to teach English as a foreign language. Sadly, however, Tina’s marriage broke down and she soon left the relationship.
Having always loved Italy, Tina moved back there and enjoyed a successful career for many years, leading executive training courses in companies and also working as an interpreter. After seven years of living there, Tina returned to the UK as she needed to study further in order to continue her career.
I really don’t know where I would be without Stoll. It doesn’t bear thinking about
Tina began the first year of her bachelor’s degree heavily pregnant but the excitement of starting a family with her new partner was short-lived. Her partner became abusive towards her, she took on a lot of his debt, and lost her savings and mortgage as a result. As Tina’s home situation escalated, she swiftly realised she needed to escape with her four-year-old daughter. Wanting to complete her degree, she went into hiding with the help of a domestic violence charity, to allow her to continue with her final year of study.
Realising she was at her lowest ebb, Tina reached out for help. A Naval contact put her in touch with Stoll, who were able to offer Tina a two-bed flat immediately for her and her daughter. Stoll supported Tina through her move and helped her make a new home and start for her family. She was also funded to continue her studies and is currently finishing a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck University.
Says Tina: ‘I really don’t know where I would be without Stoll. It doesn’t bear thinking about … My hope for the future now is for my daughter to remain as happy as she is and for me to get a job that I can really apply myself to. I’ve always been desperate to learn and, with my MA under my belt, I’m certain I can find meaningful employment for my future.’
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.
446 Fulham Road
London SW6 1DT
Tel: 020 7385 2110
Stoll’s drop-in runs every second Wednesday of the monthat its Fulham site (see above), in the Community Hall