Stewart Harris from Rhyl in North Wales is a former infantryman who served with 1st Battalion The Welsh Guards. Whilst on tour in Afghanistan in 2012, a roadside bomb hurled Stewart’s vehicle into a ditch leaving him with brain damage; the impact of which has left him partially sighted and partially deaf.
The same year he also witnessed three of his comrades shot dead by an Afghan policeman. Stewart was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder before leaving the Army at the age of 28; the culmination of 13 years’ service. Stewart is now a member of the On Course Foundation which aims to support the recovery of sick and injured veterans through playing golf. The charity approached Jon Crossley, Managing Director of Bentley Manchester to discuss the possibility of him joining the team in Knutsford to experience the running of the most successful Bentley dealership in the UK.
Stewart began his placement at Bentley Manchester in September 2016. He spent time in each of the departments but was particularly keen to learn about the role of the marketing department within the dealership. In September the Tour of Britain passed through Knutsford which drew in a large crowd of cycling enthusiasts to the town. This was an ideal opportunity to display the newest Bentley model, luxury SUV, the Bentley Bentayga and its capabilities to fit in with an active lifestyle. This was Stewart’s first marketing event at Bentley Manchester, and he soon realised the effort that goes into a
marketing event behind the scenes! From last minute changes, tight deadlines and most of all the difficulty of the unreliable British weather! Stewart also spent time on the reception desk answering calls, serving customers and enjoying the busy showroom environment, particularly enjoying the flapjacks on offer at the customer bar. He said, ‘I really enjoyed being part of a team again. I gained so much confidence and learnt new skills from highly motivated staff, such as running events and using social media channels from a business prospective.’
Fortunately Stewart is now well on the road to recovery and enjoys many new found pleasures in life including playing golf, public speaking and pursuing his new career goal which is to work within the events & marketing industry. Stewart found his experience at Bentley Manchester helped him to recover and re-gain his confidence, he explained that his experience at Bentley Manchester will enable him to go on to look for work within the industry. He has since been involved in many charity events including the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and has travelled the world, raising awareness and sharing his story. His travels have taken him to Africa, where he summited Mount Kilimanjaro, and he will travel to Norway in March.