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CWGC Gardener, Wayne Harrod, meets the Duchess of Cornwall

23 February 2016

CWGC gardener, Wayne Harrod (Harry), was able to tell the Duchess of Cornwall how he has turned his life around with the help of the Poppy Factory and the CWGC.

Harry met the Duchess, who is patron of the Poppy Factory, at a celebration event to mark the charities achievement in helping 500 veterans into work in five years.

Harry, a former Colour Sergeant of the Royal Anglian Regiment, lost his leg in 2004 after he was run over by a 10.5 tonne reconnaissance vehicle.

He remained in the Army until 2011, but struggled to find a new career.

He explained: 'Most soldiers don't want to admit to it. We think we can handle it.

'During my darkest moments a friend phoned up and I said I needed help.'

The friend suggested the Poppy Factory, who worked with Harry on his CV, and helped him look into areas he may enjoy working in - pointing him in the direction of the CWGC.

Harry had no horticultural experience or qualifications, but was given the opportunity to work with the CWGC as he studied.

He was funded through college by the Poppy Factory, Help for Heroes and Walking with the Wounded, and now has a Royal Horticultural Society Level Two Diploma.

Harry is now permanently employed by the CWGC, and is based at Cambridge City Cemetery.

He said: 'The diploma opened a whole lot of avenues to me inside the War Graves Commission. I like what they do and can't see me changing.

'Now I absolutely love going to work every day.'