A hand with a spray cleaner, to illustrate Gary Hiett's story

A clean break for Phil

Dan Hodges Case Studies

Phil enjoyed a long career in the Army and then the police. After considering retirement and his next steps, the isolation of Covid-19 left Phil feeling like he wanted to be part of a team again. Through employment support from The Poppy Factory and The OCS Foundation’s People Into Work programme, Phil is now enjoying a new part-time job that has helped him find the right work-life balance.

Years of service

Phil said: “I joined the Army as a young man and left 24 years later. It was a long and varied career. After that I joined the police, working in administration. I stayed for 15 years. When my pension matured, I left and planned to take a year’s break, but then Covid-19 hit.

Tackling isolation

“My wife carried on working through the pandemic. But I hadn’t worked for a while and I was at home a lot on my own, so I felt quite isolated. I wanted to meet people and be part of a team again.

“I knew Jane at The Poppy Factory through volunteering work I’d done, and I asked if she could help find a job with no hassle that I could do part-time. Jane was really helpful in looking at my CV and helping me think about opportunities, and it was her who put me in touch with OCS Group UK.

A hand with a spray cleaner, to illustrate Gary Hiett's storyA clean break

“Through OCS I was able to start a cleaning job. The building I work in is brand new and very modern, so it’s a good environment to be in. I work for four hours in the evening, cleaning all the different areas.

“We’re a big team, we work well together and it’s a good mix of different people and ages. And as long as you clean each area to the standard that’s needed, it’s up to you how you go about it.

“The job keeps me very active, which is great. I wear a fitness tracker and I can get my daily 12,000 steps in with no bother at all. You’re doing exercise without even thinking about it. The work fits in very well with my life at the moment and I’m planning to stick with it until my wife retires.”

Read how we’re supporting veterans alongside The OCS Foundation.

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