James was badly injured whilst on operations with 45 Commando, which resulted in spinal surgery and ended his 10-year career as a Royal Marine.

“I was looked after physically and mentally by Hasler NSRC based in Plymouth. During this time, I received intense physiotherapy and underwent resettlement as I knew my career was coming to an end. This is where RMA – The Royal Marines Charity came in and really made a huge impact on my life.”

James expressed a keen interest in becoming a domestic gas engineer. Having proved that there was a demand for that trade and that a qualification would lead to work, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity provided funding for him to train as a qualified gas engineer.

“Without this input, I would never have been able to afford this career change as my wife was out of work due to having just given birth to our daughter, Esther.”

Sadly, no one had foreseen the impact that COVID-19 would have across the world.

“I had a job lined up in Scotland and my plan was to resettle from Plymouth to Glasgow as soon as I was discharged from service.

RMA – The Royal Marines Charity yet again went the extra mile by supplying me with tools and equipment such as DeWalt power tools and a flue gas analyser. This was just as well because due to the COVID-19 pandemic my employment opportunity vanished overnight.”

James was undeterred and determined to make his new career a success so he could provide for his family.

“I managed to get my name out there and found employment 2 weeks later in Glasgow. I worked mainly as a breakdown engineer now and my family and I are in a really good place. We have managed to buy a 2-bedroom house just outside Glasgow and I truly believe that without the support and care of RMA – The Royal Marines Charity none of this would have been possible.

I will probably never be able to thank you enough for paying for my resettlement and supplying me with tools that I use every day in order to make a living in a very rewarding career.”

James has since set up his own company ‘J Paterson Plumbing and Heating’ and he is helping veterans re-train as gas engineers.

Problem, solution, outcome.

  • The problem: James’ Royal Marines career ended prematurely due to injury.
  • The solution: The charity provided funding for him to re-train, purchase tools and relocate.
  • The outcome: James now has a successful small business and is able to provide for his family.