In recognition of Armed Forces Week, members of the reserve forces took part in Uniform to Work Day. The day is to raise awareness about the thousands of people who give up a large percentage of their time to represent their country and to encourage companies to support their staff who do.
Exeter Golf and Country Club’s Gym Manager, Lee Cooke has been in the reserve forces for four years and now works as a RAF Logistics Mover, when he isn’t helping others improve their fitness at the club. Lee currently runs the gym and it’s team of personal trainers, fitness instructors and class instructors, as well as motivating club members into improving their health through fitness and nutrition, and uses many of the skills he developed in his previous employment within the Army where he served 10 years, and then in the Prison Service for another decade. It was the inspiration he gained from working in that close team environment, especially in times of crisis, that led him to the reserve forces, which also allowed him to maintain his links with the military, which he missed after leaving.
Lee said, “I am incredibly proud to be in the RAF Reserves and love the continual challenges involved. Although I am very busy in my day job as there’s always a lot of work to do within the gym, I felt I had even more to offer and really feel like I am achieving as an individual in working within my team in the forces. Of course, I could not do this without the support of my employer. Exeter Golf and Country Club have always been supportive about my role and commitment to the RAF Reserves, and I wish all companies were like this. I have travelled to the states three times, Canada and Oman in the past 12 months, and later this year I will be deploying to Afghanistan for a number of months. Wearing my uniform to work enables me to raise awareness of the reserve forces whilst also demonstrating my pride at being part of them.”
Lee’s role in the RAF Reserves involves working on the heavy transport aircraft Hercules, C17 and the new voyager aircraft. He is responsible for working out the safest way to transport heavy goods, for instance large armoured vehicles in the back of an aircraft. Lee believes these challenges also improve his performance at work in the gym and throughout the club in enabling team members to find solutions to issues and seek to constantly improve efficiencies and the experience of the club members.
Jenni Taffs, PR and Marketing Manager at Exeter Golf and Country Club said, “We are so pleased to have Lee on our team and have already seen how his skills from the reserve forces benefit the club regularly. We continue to support him and make provisions for his time away to minimise the impact here and that is largely through the sharing of skills, experience and best practice. It works well and we wish him well for the months he has ahead.”