Debbie is an RAF veteran and served from 1984 -1996. During her service, she worked in communications.
Several years after leaving the Forces, Debbie’s marriage broke down, which she says was the start of many of the problems she has faced since then. Debbie says that she had just started getting back on track when she was diagnosed with a serious illness. She felt knocked back again and spent six months going through intensive treatment. She has been in recovery since then.
Debbie says that although she can still have days where she struggles, having a military background has made her a strong person. When she saw the Alabaré Plymouth Veterans Self-Build scheme being advertised at her local veterans’ breakfast club, she immediately recognised the fantastic opportunity it could be for her, and she got in touch.
Just over a year since the build started on site, Debbie says the scheme has helped change her life. She enjoys working on the Stirling House build and says the group are a great team, all from different backgrounds and services. She likes that she feels it doesn’t matter that she is a woman, and she has embraced the opportunity to get involved in all the different trades on-site, building skills in many disciplines.
Since starting the Stirling House build, Debbie has done a confidence-building course and joined the Alabaré Gibraltar Heritage team to help restore Lord Airey’s Battery on top of the world-famous Mediterranean rock. Debbie says that getting involved in such personal development and team activities has given her the courage to make a career change. On the days she’s not on site, Debbie is a horticulture volunteer at Mount Edgecombe near Plymouth and hopes to gain the qualifications she needs to make this her new vocation. She says she wants to set out a new future for herself – to embrace change as positive and something she can manage, and to set out a new career for herself.
With just a few weeks until the completion of the Stirling House project in Plymouth, the year ahead looks very exciting for Debbie, as you can see from her video interview on the Alabaré Homes for Veterans page.
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