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Whysup!

The army is all Shoei has ever really known, work wise, in his adult life. How do you figure out what comes next? We've discussed him becoming a plasterer, plumber, heating engineer, electrician. I've even tried to blag him to enlist with the Australian Army on more than one occasion (added here again as a gentle reminder) but one thing that always come up again and again is working with young offenders. He has always felt that he could support and mentor young people in someway, we just needed to find him a way in.


Whysup are a local company and they actively provide mentoring for young people going down the wrong path. They have established links with local Pupil Referral Units [PRU's] and provide presentations and workshops facilitating increased awareness in a number of areas. Anyone that knows Shoei knows that he is football mad. He watches, he supports and he bloody well plays football at every opportunity and it was at football that he met Mark, one of the founders of Whysup. They got to know each other prior to Afghan last year and Mark asked Shoei if, on his return, he would be happy to meet with Liam (Mark's co-founder) so that they could all have a chat. He said that they could be interested in doing something together and asked if Shoei would like to provide a session with them as a one off, at a local PRU.


At this point, Shoei still had not made a clear decision on whether he wanted to stay in the army or whether he wanted to leave the army but it seems that the timing of life had the stars very slowly, but very nicely, aligning for him.


Shoei was so bloody excited when the day arrived. It was his first ever civilian style job in over 22 years. It was not a deployment or an exercise, he was not driving 96 miles down to camp on a Sunday evening, 96 miles away from his home and his life. He was not flying to some far flung, war torn country but instead he was driving up the road for a couple of hours to talk about himself. It's what Shoei's dreams are made of haha.


And it is at that point right there - although we didn't know it - that Pheniks Division started to take shape. There was no business name, no business plan, no real idea of what would be. But there was one thing that was absolutely clear and that was that that session with Whysup ignited a fire in Shoei's belly. He had been face to face with the kids he wanted to help. He had seen them engage with him and with his story and Whysup had seen it to.




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