Meet Terry Ennis, one of our veterans

Terry Ennis, head of landscaping and innovations Chequers Contract Services, served in the British Army between 2003 and 2008, before making his transition to civilian life and into the facilities management industry.

Terry was a Lance Bombardier with the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

His role saw him become the Gun Cover number for his detachment with B Battery for the AS90 self-propelled gun.

He was deployed as part of Operation Telic 4 in 2004, which was one of the most brutal phases of the Iraq post-war campaign. Despite the dangers he and his colleagues regularly faced during the six-month rotation, Terry’s days in the military were cut short as a result of a sporting injury to his left knee (medial meniscus) acquired playing for the regimental football team.

Terry said, “I was a young and very keen soldier who wanted to progress to highest level, but the injury to my knee and the surgery then required, rather put a stop to it. To be frank, I was devastated. Leaving my regiment/family, at a point when it was re-deploying to Iraq for Telic 10 was hard on me, and I still carry the guilt for having to leave my military family to face the challenges without me.”

After leaving the British Army, Terry worked in the building industry where he gained skills in hard landscaping that ultimately paved the way into grounds maintenance. After managing a contract for a social housing organisation (by coincidence a client of Chequers), Terry joined our business to grow our grounds operation and bring structure, discipline and continual improvement.

“The army was my family, and the sense of brotherhood was something that inspired me and that I missed terribly when I had to move on. The important thing for me was to replace it with something else. Grounds maintenance proved to be a substitute because I got to work outside, stay physical, manage projects with military type precision, take pride in the achievements and build comradery with my colleagues.

I’ll be honest though, operating a mechanical digger isn’t as exciting as an AS90.”

Sometime after leaving the military, Terry was diagnosed with PTSD. After receiving the diagnosis, he sought help, developed coping strategies, and recovered. His experience of PTSD, and the help he received, motivated him to give back to others in similar situations.

Though he had to leave the army, ‘serving’ has never left Terry’s mindset; he has been involved in several social value projects and he has been active in the veteran community to help others make their transitions. At Churchill Group, Terry is keen to support any veteran that wants to join our business.

“In the armed forces, all of us are moulded into organised, disciplined, motivated, hardworking and team orientated individuals. There is no ‘I’ in team. The value and standard that we bring to the civilian world is significant and I am passionate about helping other veterans to succeed in civvy street. Though I champion outside spaces, the facilities management industry has broad scope to provide a meaningful and rewarding second career.”

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