Joe, a Trooper with C Squadron, Queen’s Own Yeomanry, left behind his job as a vehicle bodywork technician to help deliver the testing programme in Greater Manchester, posted to an Asymptomatic Testing Centre (ATS) in Oldham.
He said: “It’s been very, very busy but running absolutely like a dream. As a civilian, I work in a family-run business called Body Perfect in Wrexham. I had a request from the regiment asking if we could utilise the Reserves for this task in the North West to do Covid testing.
“For someone who hasn’t got any clinical background, being plucked from the work that I do in the civilian world, to be able to come and do this was a little bit nerve-wracking but with the training I’ve received from civilians and the military. The training package was very thorough so I know full well I can do this job.
“Having worked in sales, I’m used to dealing with the public and enjoy that face-to-face interaction. It’s been enjoyable and rewarding to be able to give people reassurance.”
It’s been very, very busy but running absolutely like a dream. Tpr Joe Price, Queens Own Yeomanry
The 30-year-old former Ysgol Rhiwabon pupil from Wrexham has been a Reservist for three years and in that time has benefitted from gaining transferable skills such as signals training, leadership, first aid and HGV driving.
He added: “For me, as a British soldier, being able to help out feels like a good thing. I’m fit and able. Even if I wasn’t in the military, I’d be trying to help out in some other way.”
His partner Anna, a student nurse, said: “When Joe got the call to say that his Troop are going to be needed to deploy, I was a bit hesitant at the start but, with my line of work, adult nursing, We just want to help people and I admire that he’s going away now to go and help, as I’m doing my bit in work.”
Steve Gittens, Manager at Body Perfect, said of Joe: “He’s always willing, he’s punctual, he’s diligent and I think he’s been on a journey where he has benefitted so much from the training he’s had. He’s an Army Reservist. We have a better calibre Joe.
“We need these people, so that’s why we feel we need to support Joe. I think if everybody in society who can help decided that wasn’t for them, then where would we be?”
Joe, who has been on task since the beginning of February, will complete his deployment on the 26th handing over to civilians who the military testing teams are helping to train to continue the programme in communities.