HE lost a leg in an horrific accident.
But Steve Boughen was determined that the disability would not hold him back – even though it meant he had to leave his beloved RAF.
Now he is relishing his latest challenge – helping other disabled people find work.
Steve is a careers adviser with Remploy, one of the UK’s leading providers of employment services to disabled people.
Among the many people he helps find new jobs for are other armed forces veterans.
Steve, 48, of Skelmanthorpe, had been serving in the RAF for 10 years when a road accident signalled the end of his career in uniform.
Surgeons were forced to amputate Steve’s right leg after a car ploughed into his motorbike during a touring holiday in Scotland.
A period of rehabilitation followed before he was medically discharged from the RAF in 1994.
“I loved my time in the RAF and fully expected to serve out my full 22-year term, but that wasn’t to be,” said Steve who went on to work for Rolls Royce Aerospace for nine years before a family illness resulted in him leaving to be a carer in 2006.
A year later, when he was ready to return to work, Steve was referred to Remploy’s Employment Services branch in Sunderland where he received specialist support with his job hunt.
“I then moved home twice in fairly quick succession, first to Hull and then to Huddersfield,” recalled Steve who during this period combined his own job searching with assisting others on the path back to employment.
“I did voluntary work, helping fellow Remploy candidates in both Hull and Huddersfield update their CVs, write letters applying for jobs and search for employment online.
“Remploy paid for me to go on a course and that eventually led to me becoming an employment advisor – with Remploy!”
In his new role at Remploy’s city centre branch in Bradford, Steve works with disabled and disadvantaged jobseekers, preparing them to return to employment or start work for the first time.
As the branch’s Armed Forces Champion he also uses his own experiences to help veterans and wounded, injured and sick service leavers tackle the specific barriers they face when looking for a sustainable career.
“I am so pleased for Steve,” said Aaron Middlehurst, an employment advisor at Remploy’s branch in Huddersfield, who supported Steve into his new role.
“He has worked hard to get back into employment and his success shows Armed Forces veterans have transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.”
It is a difficult time for many as Remploy is closing many of its factories, including the one at Tandem, Waterloo, where workers make interior fittings for cars.
Thirty-one workers at the factory will be made redundant when it closes on August 8.
Originally named the Disabled Persons Employment Corporation, Remploy was established in April 1945 under the 1944 Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, introduced by Ernest Bevin, the Minister for Labour.
The first factory opened in 1946 at Bridgend in South Wales, making furniture and violins. Many of the workers were disabled ex-miners, but as the network grew, employment was provided for disabled people returning from the Second World War.