Kudos to new recruit, Lloyd Hounslow, taking on new challenge just months after partial loss of eyesight

February 16, 2017

Our latest recruit, Lloyd Hounslow, spent many years hanging from ropes on oil rigs and wind turbines, in his role as a an offshore construction and decommissioning manager.

Our latest recruit, Lloyd Hounslow, spent many years hanging from ropes on oil rigs and wind turbines, in his role as a an offshore construction and decommissioning manager.

Just 6 months ago, however, he went legally blind following an optic stroke which turned his career path completely on its head.

Since then, Lloyd has retrained and learned new skills, and we’re delighted to welcome him to the role of Data Researcher with our business rates advice team in Gatwick.

Lloyd has led a very interesting life which began in the Armed Forces, so we wanted to find out more about him and what makes him tick.

Where are you joining Vail Williams from?
I am joining from a completely different job in engineering where I was an offshore construction and decommissioning manager/supervisor.

However, 6 months ago just prior to my 40th Birthday, I had an optic stroke which rendered me virtually blind.

I had to totally reconsider my career path and have been on courses to gain new skills, including how to use a computer and mobile with just 10-20% vision.

How long were you in your previous role, and what did you speciaise in?
I was in my last role for several years as an offshore construction and decommissioning manager. I worked in the Caspian Sea during the UK winter, and either Norway or the North Sea in the summer months.

Between offshore trips I also travelled extensively across the UK working on land based wind turbines and various onshore glazing projects in London.

Why did you choose to join Vail Williams?
I was attracted to the role not only because it was geographically accessible to me now that I am no longer able to drive, but also because of the culture of the firm.

The firm seems to do a lot of charitable work including sporting activities and this really appealed to me. Although I am now legally blind, I am still active and want to continue to challenge myself physically.

I have always been incredibly active. I was once on the England Karate team and the Army boxing team, and when I left the forces at 27, I continued in the same vein when I became a professional industrial climber.

I may have had to sell all my kitesurf and climbing equipment now, but I’ve bought myself a small freestyle kayak instead!

I also recently began doing park run (5km) every Saturday morning, and will be keen to get involved with other events like the Property Triathlon. That would be a challenge but as a former surf lifeguard, I am sure that I will be up for the task!

What are your ambitions in the role?
I have always been an ambitious person and this is reflected in the jobs that I have taken on.

Whilst this is a very different role to those I have done previously, in the sense that it is more office based and doesn’t require me to hang from a rope, I remain as ambitious as before, and hope to do well in the role.

What’s the best thing about working in property, and why?
I haven’t worked in the property industry before, so I am looking forward to learning more about the sector, whilst being able to bring to bear some of the knowledge I have acquired over the years too.

What has surprised me to date, is the sheer number of other industries and sectors that exist, and I’m looking forward to getting to grips with these in my new role.

What was your first ever job?
I joined the Royal Engineers at 15 as an apprentice welder and metal worker and was in the Armed forces as a Combat Engineer (minefield clearance/explosive digging/demolition specialist).

I went on to work as a physical training instructor, taking people through basic training and then switched to adventure training and travelled the world teaching: skiing/snowboarding/climbing/caving/surfing/kayaking/skydiving/paragliding.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Always listen and be proactive, but don’t be afraid to speak out.” These were my dad’s words to me when he dropped me off at the Army Apprentice College, aged 15.

Tell us a surprising fact about yourself
I flew to LA in America on my own a month after my sight loss and went surfing for my 40th birthday, against my family’s wishes. My wife was furious but I wanted to show people that you are only bound by the limitations that you or others impose on you. Just because I have lost most of my sight, doesn’t mean that I can’t still do the things I enjoy in life.

What’s your favourite band?
I have quite an eclectic taste and grew up learning to play the piano, so listened to a lot of classical music. In the forces, I took a lot of aerobic lessons so anything fast was always a winner. My 4 children listen to all sorts around the house, some old tunes, some new, so I’m really into anything which I think is good.

If you could work in any other profession, what would it be and why?
I was asked this by my 9 year old son the other day, and my response will be the same as I gave him:
I am lucky enough to have already had my dream job as a confined space rope access heavy rigging/lifting welder. It’s a shame it ended like it did, but now I have a new challenge to take on.