Ex-servicemen and women working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ had the opportunity to meet Prince William and tell him about their work.
The Duke of Cambridge visited Evelina London Children’s Hospital to celebrate the national rollout of a scheme to help ex-servicemen and women find employment in the NHS.
He heard how mentoring and work experience placements organised through Step into Health had helped veterans go on to secure permanent jobs.
His Royal Highness also met with children who were patients at the hospital and their families.
Neil McKie is a former army officer who spent seven years in the Armed Forces before working as assistant service manager in the dental department at Guy’s and going on to become deputy service manager at Evelina.
“Being ex-military, the Duke understands what it’s like to leave the Armed Forces,” said Neil.
“I said to him that when I left the Army, and was reassessing my life, I realised that what drives me is not money.
“What drives me is the people like the five-year-old boy we met today who is going down to surgery.
“I see it time and time again as I walk through the hospital; the people who rely on our services.
“That’s what gets me up in the morning. I want to do my bit to help.”
Sir Hugh Taylor, chairman at Guy’s and St Thomas’, added: “Life back on civvy street can be a daunting prospect after years in the armed forces.
“I am extremely proud that we have been able to employ so many excellent veterans, as well as providing opportunity and support to members of the veterans’ community who were struggling to cope in civilian life.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ has employed twelve people through Step into Health since 2015.
By collaborating with ten NHS organisations across London and the South East, the Guy’s and St Thomas’-led pilot has employed 34 former armed services personnel in the NHS, provided 120 work placements, and supported 257 members of the armed forces.
Step into Health is supported by the Duke’s charity, The Royal Foundation.