Two Shropshire teenagers are about to embark on separate adventures with the armed forces after completing their public uniformed services training at Telford College
Sian Lowe, 18, from Church Stretton, says she is ‘so excited’ to get started on basic army training with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps after completing her level three course.
And Lewis Offland, 17, from Stirchley in Telford, is set to begin a career with the Royal Navy after completing the same level three course.
Sian, a former Madeley Academy student, first heard about Telford College’s public uniformed services courses when she attended a taster session.
“It made me think, ‘I really want to do this.’ I’m a more hands-on sort of person and I’d already decided that I didn’t think university was really for me, so the course seemed ideal.
“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in, but I can’t wait – I’m looking forward to the future and finally getting my army uniform.”
Sian said she thrived at college during the two-year course, discovering a new-found confidence, maturity and attitude.
“Having to wear a uniform every day really instils discipline. I’ve been a different person since I started at Telford College – my mindset and attitude have totally changed, I’m much more positive, open-minded and determined in my life.
“The tutors and this course have truly changed me as a person. I’m in a great place for the future, and would recommend this course to anyone who wants to change their life.”
Sian has already returned to her former school to deliver a talk about the course to students – driven by the fact that she wishes she’d known about the options available to her sooner.
“I can’t wait to go back to my old school to talk to them again – but this time in my army uniform!” she added.
Lewis, a former Telford Langley School student, said he had been unsure what he wanted to do as a career.
He said: “The forces were always in the back of my mind, as so many of my family have served, so I decided to see where it took me.
“Starting this course really helped pull me back, and taught me how to use self-control. The course took me back to basics; I learned a lot about respect and teamwork and how to channel my energy in a positive way.”
Lewis passed a Royal Navy selection test held at the college, and has completed his initial four-day course. He is now set to begin basic training to become a seaman specialist.
“I might never have applied if it hadn’t been for the navy selection testing taking place at college,” he said. “But I’m really glad I did. I’m nervous about starting this new chapter, but really excited too. It’s a chance for a fresh start.
“The tutors have all been really encouraging, and have their own experience of serving in the forces. They’ve supported me all the way through.”