Sunderland veteran on top of world after support group help lands him new job

Ricky Christie working at the top of a wind turbine in Germany.
Ricky Christie working at the top of a wind turbine in Germany.

Ricky Christie is almost on top of the world after support group Veterans in Crisis (VICs) helped him secure a new job.

Ricky, 29, from the Monkwearmouth area of Sunderland, is now scaling heights of up to 400ft after retraining as a wind turbine technician.

While not enduring a personal crisis like many of the group's clients, he was still entitled to support as an ex-member of the Armed Forces.

He is also one of 86 people helped by VICs during its first year in its current guise.

Founder Ger Fowler contacted the Royal British Legion on Ricky's behalf to secure a four-figure grant to cover the cost of his specialist training.

Ricky, who served in Afghanistan as a sapper with the Royal Engineers, initially provided personal security for professional footballers on Merseyside after leaving the forces in 2015.

He said: "I decided I wanted a change and was contacted by Ger within 24 hours of him getting my number.

"I was not sure what if anything I was entitled to and it was Ger who got me funding for my courses and pointed me in the right direction.

"I cannot thank Veterans in Crisis enough."

Also read: Sunderland veteran who hit "rock bottom" urges others to seek help with their mental health

Ricky, a former Monkwearmouth School pupil who served in the Royal Engineers for seven years, undertook his two-month training course in North Shields last winter and was quickly employed by Bromley wind turbine builders TRG.

His work with the Kent company has seen him travel as far as Germany to help build turbines.

Further details of the Royal British Legion's support for veterans and their families is available from (0808) 8028080.

For a full list of support group numbers for military veterans, click here.