Speakers

Making Generation R has trained 40 Blesma Members to tell their personal stories over overcoming adversity, meet Stewart Harris…

Army Life

Stewart Harris left school at 16 to join the army and served with 1st Battalion The Welsh Guards. Whilst on tour in Afghanistan in 2012, a roadside bomb hurled Stewart’s vehicle into a ditch leaving him with brain damage; the impact of which has left him partially sighted and partially deaf. The same year he also witnessed three of his comrades shot dead by an Afghan policeman. Stewart was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder before leaving the Army at the age of 30.

Joining Making Generation R

Just four years later, Stewart went on a shark diving expedition to South Africa, organised by Blesma, and heard from some of his peers about the Making Generation R programme. He was interested about how the benefits of a storytelling and public speaking training scheme could differ from the more physical (and traditional) models of rehabilitation or up-skilling… and so signed up.

During the intensive training week, Stewart learned how to use his voice to tell his story.

“Most significantly I grew in confidence and learned how to command the attention of the listeners, making my story come alive.”

“Before the training, I really didn’t look that far into the future as it didn’t look fantastic. Making Generation R changed everything. As soon as you do a talk at a school and they tweet about the talk, the feedback is so humbling. The schools where kids are having real troubles.... that's the most satisfying. We are changing not just Blesma members’ lives but young peoples lives.”

My Life Today

“As a regular speaker for Making Generation R, I have shared my story in a variety of settings. Making Generation R has definitely 100% helped me with my sense of self-worth.”

What Stewart feels particularly strongly about, is the sustainability of this exemplary programme. Making Generation R can have a profound and significant impact not only on a Blesma member’s sense of wellbeing but also on their ability to gain meaningful and well-paid employment.  

“After having shared my story and run workshops in schools, my confidence had grown so much that I felt ready to find a job. I had become an ambassador to the ABF - The Soliders’ Charity and they mentioned there was a new role ‘Briefing Liaison Officer’ in Wales and I’m thrilled to say I got the job! It was knowing how to speak to people and articulate myself that did it. Being part of the Making Generation R programme taught me how to tailor everything to who you are speaking to and ultimately gave me the confidence to believe in myself. I now work full time 35 hours a week with a good salary as a Briefing Liason Officer where my main role is communications. A skill I wouldn’t even have if it wasn’t for Making Generation R.

We are changing not just Blesma members’ lives but young peoples lives.

  • Alex Krol

    Alex Krol, 36, served with the Royal Marines. He lives in Liverpool and joined Making Generation R in 2016.

  • Ali Grant

    Ali Grant, 50,  served with the Queen Alexander’s Army Nursing Corps. She lives in North Hampshire and joined Making Generation R in early 2018.

  • Allan Long

    Allan Long, 64, joined the Royal Navy. He lives in Chard, Somerset, and began his training with Making Generation R in early 2018.

  • Archie Naughton

    Archie Naughton, 68, served with the Royal Navy, as part of the Fleet Air Arm. He lives in West Sussex, and joined Making Generation R in 2016.

  • Billy Drinkwater

    Billy Drinkwater, 33, was a corporal in the British Army. He lives in London and began telling his story as part of Making Generation R in 2017.

  • Darren Swift

    Darren Swift, 52, served with the Royal Green Jackets. He lives in the Lake District and has been telling his story with Making Generation R since 2016.

  • David Etale

    David Etale, 32, joined the army, serving with 3 Rifles. He lives in Edinburgh and joined Making Generation R in January 2018.

  • David Ledger

    David Ledger, 46, began his career with The Royal Air Force in 1992. He lives in Nottingham and became a part of Making Generation R in January 2018.

  • Jessie James

    Jessie James, 57, served with the 1st Batallion of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Forester Regiment (1 WFR). He lives in Telford, Shropshire, and joined Making Generation R in early 2018.

  • Josh Boggi

    Josh Boggi, 32, served with 9 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers. He lives in Reading, Berkshire and began telling his story with Making Generation R in January 2018.

  • Ken Bellringer

    Ken Bellringer, 40, joined the British Army and served with the Royal Logistics Corps as an Ammunition Technician. He lives in Newark, Nottinghamshire, and has been telling his story with Making Generation R since 2016.

  • Kirk Bowett

    Kirk Bowett, 40, began his army career with the Mercian Regiment. He currently lives in London, and joined Making Generation R in 2017.

  • Luke Delahunty

    Luke Delahunty, served for the RAF regiment. He lives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and has been telling his story with Making Generation R since 2016.

  • Mark Brown

    Mark Brown, 56, served with the Queens Lancashire Regiment for the British Army. He lives in Lancashire and joined Making Generation R in January 2018.

  • Mark Ormrod

    Mark Ormrod, 35, joined the Royal Navy, serving with the Royal Marines. He lives in Plymouth and has been working with Making Generation R since 2016.

  • Martin Ketterick

    Martin Ketterick, 61, served with the Royal Marines. He lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and began telling his story as part of Making Generation R in 2016.

  • Mick McConnell

    Michael McConnell, 44, served as part of the Royal Air Force Police. He lives in Moray, Scotland, and began telling his story for Making Generation R in 2017.

  • Nerys Pearce

    Nerys Pearce, 36, joined the Army as a combat paramedic with the Royal Army Medical Corps. She lives in Ascot, Surrey, and became a part of Making Generation R in early 2018.

  • Nigel Woodward

    Nigel Woodward, 55, served with the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment. He lives in Bristol, and joined Making Generation R in 2017.

  • Simon Harmer

    Simon Harmer, 42, joined the Army, serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He lives in Winchester and has been giving his talk as part of Making Generation R since 2016.

  • Steve McNeice

    Steve McNeice, 57, served with the Royal Artillery, and now lives in Surrey. He has been sharing his story with Making Generation R since 2016. 

  • Stuart Pearson

    Stuart Pearson, 43, joined the British Army serving with the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment. He lives in Colchester and began telling his story as part of Making Generation R in 2016.

  • Terry Brookes

    Terry Brookes, 61, served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings). He lives in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, and has been telling his story with Making Generation R since 2017.

  • Troy Connor

    Troy Connor, 40, served as part of the Parachute Regiment and now lives in Halifax, Yorkshire. He joined Making Generation R in January 2018.