This time last year, Stephen Rowse was unemployed and only just bouncing back from a battle with cancer. This was compounded by the fact he was also still learning to manage his ongoing condition of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.
Flash forward a year and things look very different. Not only has Stephen’s career been rejuvenated with a new job at Momentum Skills, but he’s become a charity champion extraordinaire and is set to do a 10,000ft skydive in October.
Stephen, 46, who lives in Aboyne, left behind a career as a head chef offshore in 2008 when he received his diagnosis with MS. He found difficulty in finding employment which was flexible and sympathetic to his bouts of exhaustion.
Aiming to retrain in an area which is less physically demanding, he undertook a course at Aberdeen College in HNC Admin and IT in 2011.
His path on to this new career ladder was set back by his further diagnosis with low-grade soft tissue sarcoma – a form of cancer. But with treatment, and no small amount of determination, he beat the cancer and also completed his course in 2012.
He has now found employment at Momentum Skills where he works as an administrator in the Aberdeen branch.
The company is a not-for-profit organisation with branches throughout the UK. It provides rehabilitation and training services, empowering people with disabilities and those who are excluded to live independently and to gain access to employment.
In an effort to give thanks to the company which has rejuvenated his career, Stephen is now fundraising for a 10,000ft tandem skydive which he will do at Fife Airport in October.
Stephen said: “I have had a varied career spanning 30 years as a chef working on film sets in London to working offshore on oil rigs, and now that I have retrained due to having multiple sclerosis, my new employers took a chance on me.
“With their guidance, mentoring and help, I am fulfilling a new career path and this is my way of saying thank you to them.”
Fundraiser for Momentum Skills Michael Jamieson said: “We’re really delighted that Stephen is doing his skydive for Momentum Skills.
“The proceeds will make a real difference in helping fund the services provided by Momentum Skills. A real inspiration that hopefully will encourage others to offer their support.”
To donate to Stephen Rowse’s charity skydive in aid of Momentum Skills, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ fundraiser-web/fundraiser/show FundraiserProfilePage.action? userUrl=StephenRowse