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RN Neurodiversity

Lt Gemma Winterton shared with us what it’s like to deal with neurodiversity and how she found in the Royal Navy a supportive environment that helped her succeed in her career.

“I am a Training Manager and I currently work as Officer in Charge of the Weapons Engineering Principles Training Unit. In WEP TU we teach the underling maths, physics, processes and systems that are needed to be a Weapons Engineer in the Royal Navy. I am dyslexic and dyspraxic which are often co-occurring. I have had to work hard to overcome some of the challenges that they bring, particularly those associated with working memory and physical co-ordination.

Academically the RN have funded me to complete both a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training and PGDp in Training Management and Human Resource Development; to help me achieve this they paid for an assessment with an Educational Psychologist to allow me to access additional support such as specialist software.

One of my favourite parts of working within the RN is being part of a tightly knit team where you rely on each other. I served in Afghanistan during Herrick 16 as part of a tri-service team of 14. Amongst other things we ran a Pashto language radio station which allowed me to showcase my creativity, interpersonal skills and verbal communication which are traits that are commonly associated with some forms of neurodivergence.

Another great opportunity with the RN is sport and Adventurous Training. My lack of physical co-ordination means that these are areas that can be challenging, and it would be easy not to participate. However I have always been encouraged to take part and had some great opportunities such as taking part in the Round the Island Yacht race.”

Lt Gemma Winterton

Follow the RN Neurodiversity Network on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rn_neurodiverse

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Source: Royal Navy