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Lockdown

Updated about 2 months ago

Business
Non-Profit
Health & Fitness
Mental Health
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Our Armed Forces operate in challenging environments. For them, separation from loved ones, dealing with sudden change and uncertainty is part of the day job. They are trained to ‘adapt and overcome’ in the most extreme conditions. So, what can we learn from their experiences? Week-by-week, we’ll explore the Lockdown with people who have Served in the Armed Forces and the organisations helping those in need within the military community. Hosted by Company of Makers co-founder Steve Bomford and former submariner Mike Davis-Marks.

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Our Armed Forces operate in challenging environments. For them, separation from loved ones, dealing with sudden change and uncertainty is part of the day job. They are trained to ‘adapt and overcome’ in the most extreme conditions. So, what can we learn from their experiences? Week-by-week, we’ll explore the Lockdown with people who have Served in the Armed Forces and the organisations helping those in need within the military community. Hosted by Company of Makers co-founder Steve Bomford and former submariner Mike Davis-Marks.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Lockdown

Lockdown

Latest release on Dec 25, 2020

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 2 months ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: JJ Chalmers, Royal Marine Veteran and star of Strictly Come Dancing

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‘JJ off Strictly’ joins us for our Christmas Special! …Once a Royal Marine, Always a Royal Marine. 

“Blown-up” while deployed to Afghanistan, JJ joined-up as a Reservist aged 17 and his attitude of “keep cracking on” helped him to go on to win a gold medal at the Invictus Games. 

JJ describes how life in the Royal Marines brings hardships and challenges as well as adventures, but the best part is “getting to go to work with your best friends.” 

We hear about juggling civilian life as a teacher with being a Royal Marines Reservist, “when you take your uniform off, your Corps values don’t change.” 

JJ talks openly about mental health and the difficulties following his injuries, “…it’s ok to put my hand up and say, ‘I’m struggling physically and mentally’” and we also hear about the importance of sense of purpose and recognising incremental gains on the road to recovery. Talking about this honestly, with JJ’s life now in the public eye, helps him to make a positive impact on people who are also facing challenges. A great role model. 

JJ chats about his Strictly journey and how his dance partner Amy’s words of wisdom, “don’t get bitter, get better” along with his Royal Marines training, provided a sense of perspective about loss and injury and the attitude “to get stuck in”. 

We also hear how “a lot of Royal Marines have a new found love and appreciation for sparkle and glitter” and how being in the Corps, 

“the greatest club on earth… quite simply made me a better person.”

This podcast is supported by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Dec 25 2020

54mins

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Rank #2: Adrian Bell, CEO of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

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Here we are at the start of series 2 and we have a new level of Lockdown restrictions, ‘Tier 4’. 

The world has continued to be turned upside down by Covid since we chatted with our first podcast guest, Adrian Bell, CEO of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity; so, we thought this would be the perfect time to catch-up and find out what he’s learned since then and how the RNRMC is meeting the challenges of the pandemic heading towards Christmas.

We hear about the importance of not only tackling loneliness, but preventing it. We also address some big issues such as the role of the state versus the role of charities; and discuss the inequalities within society highlighted by the pandemic.

Finally, taking inspiration from an article featured in the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) publication ‘Therapy Today’ we ask, ‘when this is all over, will we retain the pandemic as a bad memory and go back to the way things were before the virus, or will we learn from it…?’

This podcast is supported by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Dec 20 2020

47mins

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Rank #3: Mark Perryman, RAF Veteran and Commercial Manager, Defence Medical Welfare Service

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“It’s a myth that everybody in the Armed Forces is either mad, bad or sad – it’s just not true”. For World Mental Health Day, we’re chatting with Mark Perryman from the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS). A former RAF medic whose Service career has had a positive impact on his mental health, making him “more resilient” and able to help others. 

With origins in WWII, DMWS has been working throughout the Covid-pandemic on wards and also supporting NHS staff and the blue light services. Their Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses also continue in a Covid-secure way, training people to support someone in mental distress. Mental distress is certainly being exacerbated by the anxiety of living through this pandemic and “stigma around mental health is not confined to the Armed Forces” (AF). 

We hear about the AF specific version of the MHFA training, “most people go through their Service career and transition back to being a civilian satisfactorily, but for the percentage that do find it a struggle, it’s important to support them.” 

We discuss Service-related issues, including barriers to seeking help and awareness of services available for Veterans including the ‘Transition Intervention and Liaison Service’ and ‘Complex Treatment Service’. We touch upon long-term separation and its impact upon Service families, Vicarious Trauma suffered by partners of people with PTSD and understanding pre-Service vulnerability. 

Lockdown has had a big impact on the mental health of elderly Veterans and we discuss the big issue of loneliness and social isolation. Mark also explains how some Veterans feel they don’t fit in with the rest of society and the complex issue of ‘Moral Injury’. 

We all have mental health be it ‘good’ or ‘bad’, the message here is that it’s “critical to have non-judgemental conversations.”

Email us at:  lockdown@companyofmakers.com

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Oct 10 2020

40mins

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Rank #4: Andy and Adrian Rigsby former Royal Marines and Falklands Veterans recall Fort Cumberland

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Great story this. Celebrating our move to Fort Cumberland, we’ve called in who else but the Royal Marines.

At the fort, we interview two brothers, both former Royal Marines, Andy and Adrian; whose father was also a Bootneck and Served at the fort in the 1960s and 70s.

We hear a story about Land Rovers being driven into a ‘wade tank’ (swimming pool for cars) at the fort. No spoilers, that’s as much as we’re going to say apart from, the H&S lot wouldn’t let this happen today. Enjoy!

Got any Fort Cumberland stories of your own? We’d love to hear them.

Email us at:  lockdown@companyofmakers.com

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Aug 28 2020

34mins

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Rank #5: Ian Millen, Falklands Veteran & CEO of Veterans Outreach Support

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“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

This is how Ian describes the inter-connectedness of our Armed Forces, the teamwork so vital to VOS in helping Veterans and of course, this applies to all of us in tackling Covid-19. 

Ian shares a vivid account of his experiences during the Falklands conflict; at the time, a Leading Seaman onboard HMS Antrim. 

The perspectives gained through having Served as a rating for 50% of his time in the Royal Navy, 50% as an officer, have shaped Ian’s current work in the charity sector, as have his experiences in the Falklands. 

In fact, VOS was born out of the Falklands conflict and a former Sea Harrier pilot is now one of the psychologists providing clinical support for Veterans. We hear about the ‘strategic shock’ that Covid-19 has had on the way that VOS operates, a charity for which face-to-face contact and ‘the personal touch’ has always been so important. 

To continue providing help, VOS’ service delivery has shifted to phone and online support and we hear how their new ‘click and connect’ project is supporting Veterans in need.
Call VOS on 02392 731 767 or email admin@vosuk.org 

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Aug 09 2020

1hr 11mins

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Rank #6: Bridget Nicholson, Royal Navy Veteran & Evidence Director at the Naval Families Federation

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Preferring not to be defined by her career, Bridget’s a big fan of Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyore. So who is Bridget Nicholson? 

Bridget’s blog, ‘It’s Gone Tits Up’, certainly provides insight into her honestly and sense of humour. Last year’s cancer diagnosis was a shock and we catch-up with Bridget on the first day that she’s clear of treatment. 

We touch upon the military use of humour as a coping strategy and the complexity of feelings about her parents passing away recently, with whom she had a difficult relationship. 

A global pandemic after the bleak year that Bridget’s experienced has brought with it the challenges of being subject to Covid-19 shielding regulations and trying to social distance within her own home with her adult children and husband on leave from the Royal Navy. 

Throughout all of this, Bridget’s humour shines through, but whatever you do, don’t mention ‘staying positive’…. 

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Jul 20 2020

59mins

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Rank #7: Charlotte Mason, Languages Teacher & Connecting Forces Group Lead

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Meet Charlotte, she’s joint-Head of Languages at a secondary school in Portsmouth. We catch-up with her just before her husband goes back to sea with the Royal Navy and hear about the importance of having her own identity and career, whilst being proud to be a military wife.

As a mum to three kids under ten, she’s been home-schooling through Lockdown as well as supporting the children of key workers still attending school. As Lockdown restrictions are changing, we hear about re-organising the school to enable reopening with social distancing. 

In addition to teaching, Charlotte set-up the ‘Connecting Forces’ support network and after school club for Service kids, with which Company of Makers ran sewing workshops a while back, linking-up with The Sewing Soldier’s ‘Flags of Thanks’ nationwide project to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

We also find out how the military lifestyle and separation affects family life, with deployments and ‘weekending’. With 1,000+ Service kids at school locally, Charlotte aspires to extending Connecting Forces across Portsmouth and beyond; with Service kids offering peer support and sharing their resilience and ability to adapt.

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Jul 13 2020

42mins

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Rank #8: Nick Fletcher, Chair of Trustees Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

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“No plan survives first contact with the enemy’ …. Wisdom shared with us by this episode’s guest, Nick; who also explains the military’s strength in the areas of structure and planning - in Nick’s case, experience gained through 18 years at sea with the Royal Navy, followed by many years shore-based.

We find out how learning to self-isolate is essential for creating a sense of personal space when living in a 30 to 50-person mess deck onboard a ship - another aspect of military life that has proved useful during Lockdown.

Nick talks to us about the RNBT, “a charity for Ratings, led by Ratings’, where Nick is currently Chair of Trustees. A charity with links back to Admiral Jellico, which has adapted to today’s Covid-challenges by offering direct grants to individuals, many currently in need of food and with a care home Pembroke House, that has managed to remain Covid-free.

We also hear about food, ferrets and tinkering with ‘Raspberry Pi’s’….

If you are a ‘crisis’ or an ‘urgent’ case call RNBT on 023 92 660 296 between 0800 and 1600 or email rnbt@rnbt.org.uk and mark your email ‘crisis case’ or ‘urgent case’. You will be answered by one of the Grants Team who will take down your details and address your issues.

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Jul 06 2020

44mins

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Rank #9: Nigel Langhorn, Falklands Veteran and CEO of Agamemnon Housing Association

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Through Nigel’s 35 years of Naval Service with 20 years at sea, we gain insight into life onboard ship, how ‘you’re never alone but sometimes it can be quite lonely’ – social isolation resonating with many of us today. We hear how the Royal Navy provided a real sense of purpose and how routine and discipline learned in training still helps years later. 

Nigel shares with us his memories of active Service in the Falklands in 1982, having had to abandon ship and deal with ‘survivor’s guilt’. We learn that this life-changing experience gave him a sense of perspective that reminds him today that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and despite Lockdown, the old ship’s crew of HMS Ardent has used technology to remember their 22 fallen shipmates.

Now CEO of Agamemnon Housing Association, provider of sheltered accommodation primarily for military Veterans and their partners; Nigel explains the challenges of Lockdown and how, by staff and residents adapting so quickly to changes in operations, the virus has not breached the properties. With most residents being over 70, many with underlying health conditions and shielding letters, the challenges continue, as does the hard work of Agamemnon in addressing issues of social isolation and loneliness while the residents’ usual programme of social activities are on Lockdown.

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Jun 15 2020

51mins

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Rank #10: Jack Broughton, British Army Veteran

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We catch-up with Jack, he’s an inspirational former Squaddie and father to a three year-old ‘Duracell Bunny’

After losing his leg in Service, Jack has suffered serious health challenges but focuses on the positives. Now medically discharged, he explains how his Army training helps him to “adapt and improvise” and also how to live well in Lockdown.

We hear about his writing, stir-frying lettuce and also his post-Lockdown mountaineering plans in support of BLESMA. 

Oh, and if you need a cardboard boat building, Jack’s your guy.

LOCKDOWN is funded through a grant from the ABF - The Soldiers' Charity.

Jun 11 2020

38mins

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