A Foulridge war veteran was among a privileged group of ex-service personnel to meet The Duchess of Cornwall.
Gregg Stevenson met Camilla in London at a celebration to mark The Poppy Factory’s milestone of enabling 500 disabled veterans back into employment.
Gregg, a father of two, was medically discharged from the army after being badly injured in an explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in 2009. He had to have a double amputation above and below the knees.
The Poppy Factory charity stepped in to help the former sapper with the Royal Engineers (Commandos) and he is now in a work placement with the NHS. He starts a full time job as a personal trainer in March with the aim of helping others in a similar situation to what he found himself in.
The Duchess, Patron of The Poppy Factory, met ex-Service men and women who have successfully found new careers on ‘civvy street’ thanks to The Poppy Factory, together with their volunteer mentors, Poppy Factory staff, and some of the employers that are leading the way in recruiting disabled veterans.
Gregg said: “It was great day. Camilla talked about previous success stories with us. It’s exciting that this could be the first step of many for me.
“It’s been quite a lengthy process. Six months ago I started doing work experience and I’ve been doing further qualifications as well to get me to this position.
“When I first joined the military, I learned a lot about looking after yourself and keeping fit. When I first became disabled, I lost my confidence to go to the gym even though I could probably push some of the biggest weights there. But I started up again and got my confidence back and I saw the gains I made.
“I’m really well, I’ve got two young boys now aged three-and-a-half and 14 months so I’m really busy with family life and going to work.”
In 2014, the former Colne Park High School student became the first patient in the country to be fitted with a prosthetic knee that can be operated by bluetooth.