Two years ago the Officers’ Association opened its first regional office in Bristol with the aim of reaching out to military officers, providing them with support as they transition into civilian life. What started out as a blank canvas is now evolving into an impactful community – engaging with organisations and Service-leavers through networking events and Employer Knowledge Swaps.
The Bristol Team started out as a staff of one - Sophia Koniarska, Business Development Manager. Since then, its regional success has enabled the team to grow, following the addition of a dedicated career consultant, Keith Spencer. Now housing the OA Employment Services function, new members of the Bristol office, Karen Yates and Louise Clay, have helped to support not only the region, but the rest of the country too. From the beginning, the OA’s Bristol office has expanded the region’s Military Network, offering a high standard of support to its Service men and women.
The Bristol office has put together a number of well attended events, including LinkedIn and Project Management Workshops. Regularly joined by former OA Alumni offering their knowledge and experience, the OA has also partnered with the likes of Broadcaster and Journalist Monty Halls and Ex Vice Admiral, now CEO of RNLI, Paul Bossier to aid the continuing growth of the South West’s Military Network.
“We have engaged with many successful companies in the region, including Airbus, Zurich and Ascent, to name a few”, says Sophia Koniarska, Business Development Manager. She adds “It has been a challenging two years, requiring an innovative approach to delivery, with the ability to say yes to opportunities that have come our way. We are continually inspired by the sense of community in the region.”
There is still a large amount of work to be done and a lot of untapped potential, but the OA would like to share this milestone with everybody who has made it possible, and to say thank you for continuing to support the work of the OA.