A mechanic from Andover has set up a unique new car repair company that aims to help ex Forces personnel back into the world of work.
Stephan West has opened Forces Re-Engineered at Queensway, Walworth Business Park, where he currently employs one full-time and two part-time apprentices. Stephan’s varied background and career experience ranges from mechanical engineering and the police to Bike Tours for the Wounded, which enabled him to travel on two U.S tours with injured soldiers.
Forces Re-Engineered is a Community Interest Company, which means that the venture is not-for-profit. Instead it focuses on providing opportunities for ex Services personnel to retrain in a PTSD-friendly environment and helps employees make the transition from the Services to civilian life.
St Mary’s ward member, Councillor Iris Andersen, presented Stephan with Test Valley Borough Council’s Business Incentive Grant of £750 at his base at Queensway. She said: “Stephan’s new venture is a fantastic way to support those who have experienced life in ways that most of us never will. Forces Re-Engineered offers vulnerable people a way to integrate back into society while not forgetting the incredible work they have served for their country in the past. I wish Stephan the very best of luck.”
Stephan added: “I am absolutely committed to this venture as I feel so strongly that ex Forces personnel often need just a small opportunity to get back into work where they can flourish. I would love to see the company grow and I am dedicated to working with local charities, and colleges for apprenticeship training, to make this a success.”
The Council’s Business Incentive Grants are available to anyone looking to set up their own business in Test Valley. Anyone who successfully applies for the grant will receive a grant of £750 if their business is still going strong six months later.