Uniformed Public Services students at Nescot were given some serious food for thought by representatives from army infantry unit the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment on Tuesday 24th January.
During an hour-long presentation in the College’s Adrian Mann Theatre, Corporal Chris Hill, Lance Corporal Rob Kelly and Privates John Goble and Matty Waitawa gave learners an unflinching view of army life. The subject matter ranged from opportunities to travel the world as a display parachutist to the stark reality of combat in places such as Afghanistan.
‘It’s vital for youngsters coming in to realise the risks as well as the benefits of this life,’ said LCpl Kelly, an army sniper who was seriously injured in a blast which killed his comrades in Afghanistan, ‘You don’t want to be going in to this because you’re not sure what else to do then suddenly find yourself in a very bad place, in a very bad way.’
The presentation clearly had an effect on the learners, with many considering an army career for the first time.
For Chloe Henning, 16, from Chessington, the chance to hear about the realities of army life, from those who live it, made a big impression.
‘I wasn’t really interested in the army before but I didn’t realise how many opportunities there are,’ she said. ‘It was good to see both sides of things, the joking around and friendship and then the reality of the firefights and mines. I’m definitely giving it some thought now.’
Angela Humphries, from Sutton, agreed the talk had opened everyone’s eyes.
‘It’s very different to what you see on the news. It was interesting to see the recreational side and then the reality of Afghanistan.’
For Cpl Chris Hill, who was shot while serving in Afghanistan, speaking to youngsters was an important part of his role.
‘I think it’s very important these kids realise what it’s like. This is about telling the truth and passing on my experiences. We’re not here to recruit, this is just the facts about who we are.’
Nescot College was recently awarded an Outstanding grade by Ofsted in 8 key areas, with special mention made of improvements to the college under the ‘inspirational leadership’ of Principal Sunaina Mann.
Find out more about Public Services courses available at Nescot.