By day, Lauren Jackson delivers mail as a postwoman in the Eastwood area. But during her spare time, she is a reservist with the Royal Navy.
Now the 31-year-old is encouraging others to try her exciting ‘double life’, to develop new skills and improve their confidence.
Lauren is serving as a new part-time recruit with HMS Sherwood, the only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit in the East Midlands.
She explained: “I thought I should look into it because my civilian boss at the Royal Mail in Eastwood is from a military family and knows a lot of people who have served in the armed forces.
“He has known me for more than ten years and understands what I enjoy, and that I like a challenge.”
Lauren has a passion for learning fresh skills and wants to embrace as many opportunities as possible to kick-start her military career. She feels sure that many other people would jump at the chance to take a similar career plunge.
“There are loads of openings in the RNR,” she said. “Skills like first aid, the ability to solve a problem and work as a team can all be transferred back to my day job. But I am also excited about learning a new specialist trade.”
Lauren joined the HMS Sherwood unit, which is based in Beeston, last year. She is still in the early stages of her training, but already has a host of highlights that she enjoys chatting to her friends about.
She continued: “After just months of joining HMS Sherwood, I took part in the unit’s Freedom of the City of Nottingham parade in Market Square. I felt a huge sense of pride to be standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow reservists. To march through the streets of Nottingham, with members of the public cheering us on, was amazing.”
Lauren ays her only regret was not joining the RNR earlier. She said: “I have met some great friends at the unit, and a few of us are actually planning a holiday together, outside of unit activities, which will be great.
“I would recommend joining HMS Sherwood to anyone who is looking for a new challenge in life.
“Everyone has been so welcoming to me. You don’t really need any military experience because you can learn everything at your own pace.
“My reservist role fits around my job as a postwoman, and I still have time to see my friends and family too. I wish I had joined a long time ago.”
During the summer, armed forces activities are taking place at various venues across the East Midlands. Reserves Day, the annual, nationwide celebration to thank reservists for their service, took place on Wednesday this week.