Ex-service personnel looking for a new career are ideally suited to the care industry, says Marcel Ballinger, a former Royal Marine who recently joined Green Light. He’s no stranger to danger having spent 15 years with various units touring countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Sierra Leone. “People think that ex-military personnel are cold and hard-faced but I’m very passionate and caring. War operations are not just about fighting it’s about winning the hearts and minds of the local communities and finding commonality and building trust.”

Marcel left 30 Commando RM Plymouth in 2012 and was working as a bodyguard for the British Embassy in Baghdad when a chance encounter with a spider saw him return home to Cornwall for good. “I was bitten on the ankle and ended up in the American hospital. It was touch and go for a while as the poison spread through my leg. They threatened to amputate but thankfully I made a full recovery, it made me realise what was important in my life, my son and wife, Donna.”
While Marcel was on the front line Donna was working for Green Light while caring for their son, Leon, who has Aspergers. “It wasn’t easy for Donna while I was away. My relationship with Leon was difficult because I was on tour for long periods. Now I’m enjoying home life, spending time with Leon,  and the challenge of a new career.”

Marcel was recently promoted and is now a senior support worker as well as a Physical Intervention Trainer. “The physical instruction was second nature to me because of my military training. I’m calm under pressure and can think clearly under stressful conditions. Being an instructor is the next step in my progression, it’s about using safe techniques to diffuse situations. I also enjoy being part of a team, it’s great working with a functioning group of people with a common cause. Military personnel make ideal care staff as they are calm, keen, punctual, and smart. It’s a great start for me, I’m looking forward to achieving much more with Green Light and getting to know the people that I’m supporting.”

For information on jobs at Green Light please go to www.switchedoncare.com


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