From Service to Ceremonies

Gill Charlton, a military spouse and a Veteran, served 24 years in the British Army but swapped service for ceremonies to forge a new career as a Celebrant.

Gill’s time in the military saw her serve in the Royal Signals, the Intelligence Corps, and the Adjutants General Corps as part of the Army Welfare Service. She is neurodivergent and a survivor of both cancer and PTSD, but far from dwelling on the past she is always on the lookout for opportunities to use her experience to support others through the power of storytelling. In her capacity as a Celebrant, the telling of other people’s stories is crucial as she marks the major milestones of life.

For those not familiar with the term, Celebrants perform wedding/civil partnership celebration ceremonies, vow renewal ceremonies, naming ceremonies, and celebration of life ceremonies. Quite the career change from the Army!

Gill explains:

“I trained to be a celebrant as part of my military resettlement, completing two diploma courses part-funded by my Enhanced Learning Credits. Celebrancy was an area that I was interested in but I initially planned to secure a full-time management role once I left the Army and work as a Celebrant occasionally. During my last year of service, I was fortunate to have an excellent careers advisor from the Career Transition Partnership and to be offered free mentoring from the Invictus Games Foundation. Working closely both I was able to re-focus my career goals which led to me choosing to set up my own business as a Celebrant.”

In the last decade of her military career, Gill worked in a therapeutic and social care role, supporting vulnerable members of the military community, and recognised that the skills she developed provided an incredible foundation upon which to start building her own business. We’re thrilled to say that X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) played a role in Gill’s self-employment journey.

“I was lucky to have access to training opportunities delivered by XFE,” Gill enthuses. “These provided me with an insight into the fundamentals of small business ownership and connected me with other veterans on similar journeys. This in turn gave me the confidence to go forward with my decision.

“Running my own business gives me flexibility to manage my time around existing family and personal commitments, which is really important to me, particularly with the additional challenges of being a service spouse.”

Read Gill’s full story here:

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