A journey from the front line of the British Army to the fight against Covid-19 within our Community.
Prior to becoming a Community Sports Coach at the AFC Fylde Community Foundation Lee Geraghty served for 22 years in the Armed Forces.
Initially enrolling as part of The Kings Regiment until that later amalgamated into the Duke of Lancas-ter’s Regiment. During his service in the Army Lee toured in many different countries ranging from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan.
Whilst serving in the Army Lee was assigned across several wide and diverse roles and deployed to many different locations. He maintains he has been fortunate and that the posts he’s been given have been longer terms – the longest most notably being 8 years – so that his family have always been able to travel and move with him.
Coming towards the end of his career with the Army Lee knew that he wanted to make a change and take on a role that would involve his passion for sport and serving the community. As a lifelong foot-ball fan Lee was the manager for the 2 Lancs whilst also coaching at a local grassroots football club that his two sons are involved in. Lee has managed to balance work, family life and continued educa-tion in recent years and is currently working towards his FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in Coaching Football at Lancashire FA.
During the resettlement phase of his Army career Lee was offered a work experience position at the AFC Fylde Community Foundation weekly in order to aid his transition from Army to civilian life.
Lee recalls how it was a great opportunity for him to experience the difference without the added pres-sure of diving into a full-time position.
He said: “It was a fantastic experience and a real eye-opener at first to be directly helping people in our local community.
“I feel that when soldiers come to the end of their time in the army, it can be a shock to their system to just suddenly be in ‘real-life’. The opportunity and the work experience I was able to undertake has been extremely beneficial”
Following an 18month terminal leave period Lee left the army in October 2019 to a full-time role within the AFC Fylde Community Foundation. Having gained all the qualifications and community experi-ence along the way.
“I was over the moon when the Foundation offered me a full-time position as Community Sports Coach. The work the Foundation undertakes everyday has become a real passion for myself and I thoroughly enjoy being able to help and support my local community in so many different ways.
“What really means a lot to me is the work I have helped develop and recently launched with support from the Veteran’s Foundation. These projects enables veterans to come together in the community, either at the Foundation weekly Veterans café or as part of the AFC Fylde Veterans Football team.
“Its a brilliant opportunity for any Veteran to not only meet up with friendly faces but to access support that our Foundation can offer in all sorts of areas such as CV workshops, applying for jobs, accessing online training courses, financial guidance and support securing housing.
“It’s been a pleasure for me to join and continue to be part of AFC Fylde Community Foundation, I am looking forward to continuing for many years to come”
Throughout the Covid-19 Lockdown, Lee, along with Foundation staff and local partners , has been out each week delivering emergency food parcels to the most vulnerable and at risk members of our community, whilst maintaining contact with all the veterans and service users who had been so fan-tastically engaging with the projects.
Whilst celebrating 75 years since VE day, Lee is continuing to support the emergency parcels and would not have it any other way!
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