A former Royal Navy medic suffering from PTSD has been given the opportunity to express his creativity and begin a new career thanks to the Forces Media Academy.
Freddie Wright-Jones from Aldershot, Hampshire, joined the Royal Navy in 2008 as a medic. After completing his training, he spent a short period working with the Royal Marines, before returning to a Royal Navy air station in Cornwall. Shortly afterwards he was sent to the frontline in Afghanistan.
During his deployment Freddie had some difficult experiences. He faced IED attacks, came under small arms fire and treated many serious casualties in his role as a medic.
Freddie found this experience incredibly testing and was ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), causing him to be discharged from the Royal Navy in February 2017 after nine years of service.
About being one of only 15 service leavers and veterans to secure a place on the course Freddie said:
“Being accepted into the Forces Media Academy means the world to me. It means that I will be able to express my creativity.”
The Forces Media Academy, which is part of the Services Sound & Vision Corporation (SSVC), aims to provide 15 ex-service personnel with the training, experience and qualifications they need to forge successful careers in videography, digital, TV or radio. Forces Media Academy Director, Alistair Halliday, said:
“This course is a perfect fit for service leavers and veterans with an interest in, and aptitude for, the media. It will equip them with skills for a range of roles such as a producer, multimedia journalist, and content creator.”
“The Forces Media Academy is part of SSVC, which has a proven history of media production with long-established and close links with the media, digital, and broadcast industries. We’ll harness these to set up high quality work experience which will enhance the ability of the students to get a good job afterwards,” added Halliday.
“We are most grateful for the support of charities and companies, in particular The Royal British Legion, which has most generously provided the bursary.”
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The Royal British Legion's Head of Grants and Social Policy, Steven Baynes, said:
"The Academy’s work is innovative and practical, building on the existing and highly transferrable skills of those who serve in HM Armed Forces. We’re eager to follow the first cohort’s progress, and proud to provide bursary funding to make the course accessible to as many future media professionals as possible."