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Tom Lawson – My Biggest Fight

On the 11th March, 19 year old Eastern Hose Trainee Hose Technician, Tom Lawson, is stepping into the ring to raise awareness and money for mental health charity Young Minds.

A very talented footballer, humble, hardworking Trainee Hose Technician and very likeable lad, Tom is stepping in the ring for a fantastic cause, a cause that is very close to his heart.

Unfortunately, stepping into the ring isn’t the biggest fight Tom has fought over recent months after his own battle with mental health.

Bravely, Tom has decided to speak up and help those of a similar age who find themselves in the same position that Tom once was.

This mild-mannered young man has taken himself out of his comfort zone to pursue a challenge that he hopes will raise awareness and help others in a similar situation.

“I’ve had mental health issues ever since I left high school. I think it was at the end of lockdown when things got really bad. Situations in my private life had an effect and it just went downhill from there.

“The whole of last year it was awful, I couldn’t work half the time because of it. Eastern Hose, especially Ross Roper and Elaine Miller really helped me. They listened to me at my lowest and always offered me unwavering support in my darkest moments.

“Unfortunately, I ended up in hospital. But it was at that point I decided this wasn’t who I wanted to be, I didn’t want it to define my future and it really changed my perspective on life.

“Eastern Hose could not have done more to support me. They paid for the services of a mentor, who visited me once a week, to help build coping mechanisms and to realise it was a case of day by day and focusing on myself. If I ever need to talk, I know Ross and Elaine are there as well as other members of our Team.

“At first, I was embarrassed, I kept my struggles private for a long time, longer than I should. I couldn’t even tell my parents out of fear of what they might say. Elaine really helped me to realise I needed to speak out and tell those closest to me.

“I’m in a much better place now, my boxing training has given me real focus, my confidence has improved and has really helped me deal with day to day life. I’m raising money for Young Minds and I want people of my age to realise they can speak out and ask for help.

“I will be forever thankful for the support given to me at my lowest, my parents, friends and colleagues at Eastern Hose continue to support me on a daily basis and I now want to continue making them all proud.”

Elaine Miller, Managing Director of Eastern Hose is delighted with the progress Tom has made.

“To see the person that now walks into the building every day is fantastic, because not so long ago it was a very different story.

“12 months ago, Tom was rarely coming to work and unbeknownst to us he was really struggling with his mental health.  It would have been easy for Eastern Hose to decide it wasn’t working out for Tom with us due to the short period of time that Tom had actually been with the company. However, that isn’t our style. Even at that time we could see the potential Tom possessed so we dug a little deeper with Tom to see what was going on and that’s when he opened up about his struggles.

“After speaking to us it was very clear he needed our help and support during this very difficult time. As a member of the Eastern Hose family, we stand by our Team and support them in any way we can. I’m immensely proud of Tom and the progress he has made with his mental health and in the working arena.

“Not only has he recently passed his latest NVQ qualification, but during a recent BFPA course the trainer singled Tom out as top of the class.

“The whole business is rooting for Tom in his big fight for this great cause and we are so proud to say this young man works at Eastern Hose.”

Tom has a Just Giving page set up in order to allow people to make donations to this great cause and hopes whatever he raises will play a small part in helping others deal with their own fight against mental health – you can find the link here: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-lawson9

Tom, on behalf of everyone at Eastern Hose we cannot begin to tell you how very proud we all are of you. Not only speaking out and confronting your mental health head on, but to want to spread awareness and help others in a similar position.

Best of luck on the 11th Tom, we know you’ll absolutely smash it!

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