Craig Mcwha

Housing Manager

SERVED: RAF Aircraft Avionics Technician

CURRENT: Member Op Re:Act
Team Rubicon Disaster Response Charity

CURRENT: Veteran Homeless Charities Supporter

When did you join Pinnacle and what is your role?

I’m a Housing Manager on the Canning Town PFI contract. This is my second stint with Pinnacle, having previously been on the Hammersmith and Fulham contract. My role is estates monitoring and I keep an eye on estate standards and liaise with the client.

 

How did you find transferring to civilian life?

Difficult. I ended up as a rough-sleeper in 2013. I failed to adapt. I was picked up by the charity Veterans Aid and given a new lease of life. Through this, I went to university and then decided on a career working in housing.

 

What advice would you give to those leaving service about how to adapt?

It is not down to civvy street to adapt to you, it is down to you to adapt to civvy street.

 

Who inspires you and why?

Ex Royal Marine Mark ‘Rammers’ Ormrod.  He was severely wounded in an IED explosion and lost three of his limbs. The man is an absolute machine. He exudes positivity and should be an inspiration to us all.

 

What is your biggest achievement?

Without doubt it is getting off the streets and graduating from university.

 

What was your role in the armed forces and where did you serve?

As a technician I worked on the Wessex, Puma, Chinook and Harrier aircrafts. I served for nine years and spent five of them in Northern Ireland at RAF Aldergrove. I completed two tours of Iraq and was awarded GSM medal for Northern Ireland and Iraq, as well as ACSM medals. I left service in 2006.

 

 

What attracted you to join the armed forces?

A chance to serve my country. A bit cliched but it is true. I volunteer now for a couple of homeless charities (Crisis and St Mungos), as that fulfils a missing sense of duty.

 

What did you enjoy most about being a part of the armed forces?

The sense of belonging and the operational tours. I found mainland UK  tours could be a bit boring, being on tour was much more fulfilling. The need to improvise and adapt played to my strengths.

 

Any exciting plans?

In October I am going on a disaster response course with Team Rubicon UK, the Disaster Response charity made up predominantly of veteran volunteers.

 

What made you join the Armed Forces Network at Pinnacle?

I believe it’s really important to promote the role of veterans within Pinnacle. To network with veterans and spin some dits/share some banter, 

 

What would you say to others considering joining the network?

If you’re undecided, give me a shout and we’ll grab a drink and have a chat about it.

 

How do you think businesses can better support their armed forces community?

Recognise that when most others step back in a crisis, veterans will generally lean in. Most veterans will have led teams at one point or another in their military careers. Use those soft skills and place veterans accordingly.

 

What skills do you think transfer well?

There are many. Problem solving, agility and teamwork are instilled in you and are really beneficial skills to have. We also get stuck in.