Teaching assistant gains new life skills

A teaching and learning assistant who works at a school in Chesterfield took part in Reserves Day on September 8.

Able seaman Tristan King, 25, works full-time at Outwood Academy Newbold in Chesterfield, as well as serving part-time with the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) in his spare time.

Reserves Day was an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the important part that reservists play in supporting the UK’s Defence capability.

The event gave colleagues in a reservist’s civilian workplace the opportunity to ask questions about serving with the Armed Forces and learn more about the Reserve Forces generally.

Tristan is taking part in the event for the first time this year, he explained: “I joined HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands’ only RNR unit in September 2008 but unfortunately, I have never been able to take part in Reserves Day due to other commitments.”

Tristan works in the autism resource centre at the school supporting students with varying abilities both in the classroom and on a one-to-one basis.

Although Tristan’s job at school and his role in the RNR are different, he believes that he has developed a number of transferable skills.

He added: “Thanks to my reservist training I am able to communicate to a team more effectively, or if necessary lead a team to complete an activity. I think I am now also more able to adapt to changing environments, which makes me a more effective team player.

“I’m always looking to push myself to achieve new personal goals. I’m currently working towards achieving my next promotion through completing key courses, one of which was the Leading Rates Leadership Course that allowed me to complete a variety of tasks both in and out of the field.

“Being a reservist has allowed me to take part in many opportunities that may have otherwise been inaccessible for me. I’ve travelled to Cyprus twice to complete training where I got a chance to test my combat skills on the ranges and take part in another combat exercise which was good fun.

“I’d encourage anyone up for a challenge to join the Reserve Forces, I’ve met some great friends and continue to develop life skills.”