Richard joined the Army in 1975, completed training and joined the Regiment the Scots Dragoon Guards 1976.
During his training he injured his lower back due to an accident . He said "When we had room inspections the floor
had to be like a mirror and we were told to put blankets down to stop rubber boots marking the floor. Well I walked
in to the room and went head over heels landing directly on the centre of my back, causing unseen injury to my
lower spine. I had various treatments throughout my Army life and I carried this injury through my army career.
I was in constant pain and sometimes having difficulty walking but I managed to cope. It did show as I tended to
not really take part in Sports, or big activities.
He left the Regiment in 1986 on posting to Craigihall / Edinburgh as part of GOC Staff and he finally left in 1988. He said "It was a major eye opener being a civvy - “you feel like a nobody”
He Joined MOD CY2C2 Whitehall & Harrogate in Feb 1988, the day after he left the Army. Sadly his marriage didn't survive civvy Street and the family was broken up.
For a few years he was in and out of work with Private Security companies, not really settling down at all. He didn’t receive any help from the Army and in a way was very bitter about it. He returned to Scotland in 1990 joining the Scottish Prison Service.
In 1993 he under went the first of 5 spine operations. He said "Operation 1 left me feeling great but within weeks I was back in a worse state. 2001/2003/2004/2006 Saw me having more spine operations. One leaving me with out the ability to walk and in increased pain another gave me the use of my legs but still more pain, the last operation has left me having to use crutches and rely on a Wheelchair. At no time did I get any help or know how to get help from the Army".
He has been told that due to scar tissue around the Spine he cannot have any more operations as he would loose the use of his legs. He is still in a way coming to terms that his condition is deteriorating and that he will be in constant pain and slowly loose the use of his legs. This means his legs will not want to do what he wants them to, so he has to use crutches to get around. He hates using his wheelchair and tries to stay mobile.
Richard started Fundraising in 1997 for various military charities by doing a long walk along Hadrian's Wall and a 40 Day walk around the Fife Coastal Path but once again had to stop under Doctors orders. He has now been classed as 80% Disabled for the past 12 Yrs. Now settled in Glenrothes he fundraises for Outpost by holding fundraising collections throughout Fife /Tay Side. He has also took part in SACRO Mediator Young offenders, Mediation Team Kirkcaldy which was a Voluntary position and SACRO Landlord Supported Lodgings scheme.
He first herd of Outpost in June 2014 and met the team shortly after at a fundraiser in Kirkcaldy. He liked what he saw and learnt about the Charity and what we do. The fact we are based in the Highlands made no difference as like Richard, Outpost helps the Forces Community and Families where they need it. He watched the charity in work as we presented a young ex-service man and his family with a retreat, giving them the much needed chance to bring their Family that bit closer.
Richard began with Outpost as a volunteer fundraiser and has overtime made his way up to Vice Chairman bringing his knowledge, skills and experience to help Outpost move forward in acheiveing our aims.
Richard uses Art as therapy for himself and he is now using his ability to produce Artworks as a way of coping. He says "I am a self taught Artist producing works under the name of R.Taiks. I have been lucky with my art being sold all over the world, I currently take up invites and give hands on Art Demonstrations with the biggest being for the British Lung Foundation in 2011 at Hampden Park"..
Richard provides Art Demos for the public and get invites to do work shops all over Uk and for some of the Larger charities. He uses his Art works to help fundraise and as support.
Qualifications & Training:
TrusteELearning (COMMUNITY ACTION SUFFOLK)
Introducing British Sign Language (BRITISH - SIGN)
Art Therapy (UDEMY)
Example of Richards (R.Taiks) Artwork