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Values and Purpose

In today’s episode we’re looking at the values that veterans share – above all, the drive to help and to feel a sense of purpose, that is of particular importance in today’s climate. 

Kate Silverton is joined by Sally Orange, veteran, mental health campaigner and volunteer for the Nightingale hospital, Stephen James, veteran, primary school teacher and founder of an online school in response to Covid-19, and Mike Crofts, veteran, CEO of Amodigo, the leadership and human performance specialists, and founder of 3Pillars Project, a charity delivering long-term rehabilitation to young people in custody through sports-based mentoring programmes. 

Thank you to Rory Underwood for introducing the episode.

Sally Orange

NHS and veteran

Major (Retd) Sally Orange joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1998 and served as a physiotherapist throughout her 22 year career, playing a pivotal role in the recovery and rehabilitation of many service personnel returning from conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

After being diagnosed with a mental health illness, Sally became actively involved in raising awareness of the challenges facing people in the Armed Forces as well as those in everyday society who live with mental health difficulties.

Passionate about fundraising, Sally has gone on to support several military charities by undertaking arduous endurance challenges. These include founding and leading the first ever all-female wounded, injured and sick team to complete the Race Across America, the World’s toughest cycle race, as well as the Arch to Arc triathlon, which involved running from Marble Arch to Dover, swimming the English Chanel and then cycling from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe.

She has also completed the gruelling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert and has run over 50 marathons, 3 of which have gained her Guinness World Records. Sally has spent most of her life committed to helping others become the best version of themselves, through volunteering and is National Army Cadet Ambassador.

Mike Crofts

3 Pillars Project Charity and veteran

Mike left the British Army in 2016 after 2 tours of Afghanistan and 8 years’ service. Whilst leaving, he completed the Veterans Integration Programme at Goldman Sachs, a short stint working for an MP and volunteered at a Young Offenders Institution. He was so struck by the need to improve outcomes for young people in custody that faced with the option of banking, politics and prisons, that he decided on the latter.

He subsequently founded 3Pillars Project to deliver criminal justice rehabilitation programmes through sport, transforming the lives of the young people they work with (apprentices) using strength-based mentoring and team development; to create long term trust based relationships fostering positive long term outcomes. 3Pillars Project achieved charitable status in 2018.

He was first asked to deliver a consulting project in 2017, drawing on his cross-sector experience before going on to found Amodigo to deliver leadership, wellbeing and resilience training to improve human performance. Their mission is to develop industrious leaders. In 2020, the company was accepted onto the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme at Oxford Business School.

Stephen James

School teacher and veteran

Stephen is a school governor of two outstanding local primary schools. He served for 6 years in the Intelligence Corps and deployed to Afghanistan twice as well as serving in many locations around the World. He has been a School Leader at a local outstanding primary school where he taught 8-9yr olds. Through this employment, he held the role of a Specialist Leader of Education –supporting under-performing schools to develop leadership capacity. He is also a Maths Specialist for the National Centre of Excellence in the Teaching Mathematics. He has been a teacher since 2013 and won an award at ‘Kent Teacher of the Year’ in 2018 and was also selected to go to Shanghai in 2017 by the Department for Education to fact-find from a high performing education system.

During his teacher training (2010-2013) he volunteered to support the Government’s ‘Troops to Teachers’ Initiative which involved getting more service leavers into teaching. 

In 2020, he founded ‘Social Media for Schools’, which is a social media marketing agency specialising in schools and also co-founded ‘Invicta Online Academy’ which has delivered 4 million minutes of free catch-up learning to children during Covid lockdowns.

More from the podcast series

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