Solihull veteran speaks about how Royal British Legion turned his alcohol addiction around - The Solihull Observer

Solihull veteran speaks about how Royal British Legion turned his alcohol addiction around

Solihull Editorial 8th Nov, 2022   0

AS preparations for this year’s Armistice Day are well under way a Solihull veteran has spoken about how the Royal British Legion helped turn his life around.

Terry Barnett served in the Army within the Royal Corps of Signals for almost five years after, leaving service in 1992.

For 17 years after he left the 49-year-old had a successful career in telecommunications but his dependence on alcohol began to grow and his addiction began to take over.

Terry said: “I specialised in a trade which was telecommunications and became a highly trained communications specialist employed on a task of national importance during Operation Granby.

“I was also posted in Cyprus, Germany and conducted two tours of Northern Ireland which were classed as emergency duty.

“After leaving service, I went to work in telecommunications for years, but in the background alcohol was a presence and it had always been part of the culture in the military, a way to unwind, and I took that through to civvy life.

” I soon began to become more and more dependent on alcohol and began to spiral.”

In 2019, Terry was in desperate need of help, having lost his job, his family and falling into debt. He was in a bad place and was completely substance dependent.

He finally decided to acknowledge his addiction and reach out and called the Royal British Legion contact centre.

The RBL supported Terry with a supported payment towards a fridge for his home, shopping vouchers and other financial help.

Along with regular phone calls to check in, the Legion team also referred Terry to counselling sessions and advised on a local support addiction service, setting him on a path to sobriety.

He said: “All the little things the Legion have supported with have made a big difference.

“They lifted the pressures and worries I had off my shoulders and this allowed me to begin to address my addiction and seek the help I needed without having to worry about keeping a roof over my head or seeking work.”

Terry is hopeful of giving back to the Legion by becoming a volunteer for the charity soon.

He is also doing a counselling course, aiming to help others.

Each year Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal raises funds to provide life-long support towards the Armed Forces Community and their families.

Solihull’s Royal British Legion launched it’s appeal earlier this month and poppies have been sold in Touchwood shopping centre, shops and schools across the borough.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Solihull Observer.


Advertise with the Solihull Observer to reach your audience

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.