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Meet our Peers......

.....and see what motivated them to become trained Peers.

  • "I am the pilot who wished he’d had someone to talk to in confidence when being made redundant, and perhaps when my marriage was faltering under the stress of IVF and trying to focus on my Command course at the same time. Maybe even after the time I’d had to take control from a very senior and popular Captain (who had allowed his own problems outside work to crossover,) and was ostracized by a number of other pilots until they knew more. I’m the pilot who probably should have talked to someone when my Mum died, and instead of grieving I immediately went back to work and made mistakes, and I’m definitely the pilot who could have benefited from talking to a fellow pilot when I endured a period of being physically sick through sheer anxiety prior to simulator checks. I am the person who trained to become a Samaritan because I was dismayed at the number of fellow ex-Veterans taking their own lives, and I’m the pilot who jumped at the chance of becoming a Peer because I wish this kind of support had been around for me when I needed it."
  • "I joined TUI Airways in February 2017 based in Manchester, initially flying the B737 and more recently operating the B787. Prior to this I flew for 2 other airlines, a regional company and a low-cost carrier, and I spent some time working as Cabin Crew and as a Dispatcher. I have worked in the aviation industry for the last 11 years and during this time I have spent a significant number of hours listening and talking to my friends and colleagues, both on the flight deck and away from work. This has given me a good insight into the variety of challenges that we as line pilots face, both personally and professionally. Having had the opportunity to fly both short-haul and long-haul rosters, I understand that stresses affecting pilots may be individual or generic but can also vary across the different fleets, especially with the associated personal challenges.  In my spare time I volunteer as a disabled swimming instructor, working with people of all ages and abilities, and I volunteer with the Salvation Army supporting vulnerable people in my local community. Both of these opportunities allow me to see the challenges that people from all walks of life experience and how it effects their mental health.  I volunteered as Pilot Peer because I am always keen to support my colleagues, but especially when they have to navigate a challenging personal path."

  • "I am hopeful that I can contribute to better mental health, be a good listener and a solid support to my colleagues on the line when facing challenges or difficult times. I have a genuine interest in people and regard myself to be a good listener. I applied  to be a pilot peer to make a difference when colleagues need help and support for different reasons."

  • "737 first officer with TUI for nearly 5 years with over 15 years in aviation, previously flying corporate jets as a Captain. Mother to an energetic toddler,  therefore appreciating the complexities of juggling a demanding career and family life. Interest and experience in day to day wellbeing, fatigue, anxiety, relationships ( personal and in the workplace) and equal opportunities. I’m approachable, compassionate and here to listen and guide others through these challenges."

  • "I was keen to become part of the TUI Peer Programme because there have been numerous points in my life when I really wanted to talk to someone in confidence and just felt that I had nobody that I could have a chat with at those times. I've also seen with a few friends how not be able to talk about their problems has led to the worst possible outcome for everyone. With this I really wanted to get involved to be that friendly, empathetic and confidential ear that users of the programme could trust."

  • "I’m a father of two and a Captain in my forty’s with over 20 years experience on numerous types with various airlines.  In a two year period I passed my command course, which wasn’t without issues, had a fairly serious medical issue and took on the joys of a divorce.  Life can be tough on it’s own, without the added complications our job brings and sometimes just having someone to talk to can make all the difference."

  • "I've been in the industry for 16 years and I've always been interested in the welfare of my colleagues, especially as we work in, what can be, a very isolated and lonely industry at times. Prior to joining TUI and the TUI peer support team I had done a similar role in another company and found sometimes the ability to talk to anonymous colleague very reassuring at times of stress.  I'm always happy to help in anyway I can but I've seemed to have gained over the years a fair amount of knowledge about the pain of miscarriage and the stress involved with fertility treatment, two areas which can, sometimes, be harder to talk about then others."

  • “Previously serving in the RAF, prior to joining TUI 14 years ago, I operate as a regular Line Pilot. I am also very fortunate to be part of the TUI Peer Support Group. My lifetime has produced a wide range of personal, family and professional challenges. Often troubling and also appearing insurmountable, however, with support, I overcame them. For that reason, I joined the TUI Peer Support Group.  Learning from my own life experiences, I can completely comprehend how difficult it is to take the first step, and make contact with someone who can help. I can offer my assurance that the TUI Peer Support Group is there for you in a confidential and non-judgmental setting.  Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction, ends up being the biggest step in your life. Even if you have to tip-toe, the TUI Peer Support Group is there to help you take that first step.”

  • "I’m a 49 year old Captain and decided to volunteer to become part of our fantastic peer support program as I felt I had some experience and skills to offer and am keen to help others needing someone to talk to.   I wanted to get involved after needing time off work after experiencing stress associated with the terminal illness of a loved one. I know what it’s like to be struggling and the issues associated with trying to balance our job and home life and losing your medical etc and can hopefully offer some empathy and practical advice to pass on and help others.  We’ve got a job which presents all kinds of unique issues and pressures and the Tui peers are from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences but are united in a want to help fellow colleagues. Don’t suffer on your own, just give us a ring and hopefully we can help".

  • "I've been with TUI for a couple of years now and prior to this enjoyed a front line career in a blue light service. During that time I met countless people from all walks of life and in various states of need, despair and vulnerability. I hopefully helped many of these individuals in a variety of ways, by listening and providing support where appropriate. These are experiences I am especially proud of and humbled by. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to become involved with the TUI Peer Support programme, TUIPeer. I am willing to provide a listening ear for my colleagues and to assist in any way I can, using the experience gained throughout my life and indeed in my previous role”.

  • “I’m a First Officer on the 737 fleet and a relative new-comer to both TUI and Boeing. I have been flying since 2013 and during that time have seen (and in some cases experienced) what aviation can throw at you, good and bad. I’m a real believer that our mental wellbeing is just as important as our technical understanding of the aircraft and our operating procedures. In many ways, it underpins our ability not just to perform to the standards required of us on the flight deck but also in tackling the challenges (big or small) we come across in everyday life.  We all go through tough times and being able to have a friendly chat with someone who knows and understands what it’s like to be a pilot, can make a real difference. A number of years ago, I spoke to a peer myself to talk through a situation I was dealing with. Admittedly, I had my reservations going in, but I came away feeling that a burden had been lifted. The proverbial “they” suggest “what goes around, comes around” so I guess this is me, here, wanting to help my colleagues through whatever challenges they may face too”. 

  • “I was asked to provide a brief anonymous biopic of me and my motivation to become a TUIPilot support peer.  Well it’s because I care, I care that colleagues just like me who followed a dream, worked hard and focused their efforts to achieve that dream can so easily, by mistake or misfortune, find themselves lost, troubled or just unsure. I care that just a few minutes of my time and experience might be all it takes to support that colleague find their feet and move on.  I understand how friendships dissolve from relocations and summer schedules, how family and relationships can be undermined by continual time away. Through friends and close family, as well as my own experience of, consultation, redundancy and fleet reductions I have witnessed ways to cope with the professional, personal and financial insecurity that accompany these potentially overwhelming events.  Trainer, checker, safety investigator, pilot manager, I’ve experienced the good and the bad and had more than a go at those things myself. Longhaul, shorthaul, contracts abroad rebasing, refleeting, left seat, right seat -no seat!, my career has been fulfilling. I’ve had to work hard and I’ve been lucky with the people I’ve met along the way, the trainer who picked me up when the dream was dead, the AME who fought to get me flying after I was told I’d never fly again, the Captain who taught me how to be a good in the RHS, the Commander who put me down when I wasn’t ; and the not forgotten FO who said “ shall we just stop and have a cup of tea?  What stands out is how fortunate I have been to meet so many good people.  So I care, that any colleague who finds themselves, unsure, troubled or even overwhelmed by a situation; shouldn’t hesitate to make a call and be able to take any of my knowledge and experience and use it to find a solution to their problem”.

  • "I am one of the more “mature” peers and am also that elephant in the room. The ever so experienced First Officer. The thing is, I get a real thrill out of meeting my colleagues and gasp at the experiences you have endured. How you have managed to condense the every day trials of life, pilot things and the dramas of redundancy is a real inspiration and is what keeps me motivated. My background is varied but probably less intense. I have experienced through my flying career the true sadness of the loss of great friends through flying accidents. Similarly the bewildering experience of explosive events has shown me how fragile my own frame of mind can be, even 10 years on. I recognise ... now... that the true strength of our shared experiences as pilots lies not in what we keep to ourselves but when and how we share those experiences".

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