John Devlin is another worthy CiaO Foundation Primrose Award recipient

Educational Opportunity for Ex-Serviceman

Serving one's country, in any branch of the armed forces, is definitely a worthy but challenging profession. The marketing tells us that it is also filled with great opportunity, to travel, gain education, skills and amazing experiences. While all this may be true, sadly many service personnel return injured, physically and/or mentally, and with new unexpected challenges. John is one such admirable veteran, striving with adversity since leaving the army. He is also the CiaO Foundation's latest Primrose Award recipient.

At the age of 16, John Devlin joined the British Army serving in the 2LANCS (Kings). He left the army in 2010 after a five-year career which saw tours of duty in both Iraq. Depression, anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares, caused by the things he witnessed whilst serving, followed him back to his civilian life. This was later diagnosed as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Initially, John tried various means to cope himself but soon got through this difficult period and reached out for more constructive help. Having always been a keen golfer, he found OnCourse Foundation (OCF) who support the rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and Veterans through the sport of golf.

Working closely with OCF, John found a job working in the Professional Shop and as a green-keeper of a nearby Golf Club. It was a place where he could turn his life around, work hard and practice his passion for golf, to which he plays to a very high standard. 'Playing golf and working again has calmed me down and helped me to cope with my PTSD. My partner and family have seen a massive change in me'.  An opportunity has now come up for John, to do a three-year Foundation degree in Professional Golf Studies, in conjunction with Birmingham University. It presents him with a whole new set of challenges. Though, he admits himself he is ready for them and has his sights firmly set on a new goal of becoming Qualified Golf Teaching Professional. Motivated by his story in overcoming his ordeals and in his determination with his new challenge, the CiaO Foundation has provided John with a Primrose Award to help and support his new Degree Course.

UPDATE: John has recently been appointed as a Trainee Assistant Golf Professional at West Derby Golf Club in Liverpool. He started his role in February.



John taking part in the sport that has helped him so much.


Never give up! No matter what you feel or think there is always light at the end of the tunnel. There should never be anyone to tell you that you cannot follow your dreams and that they can’t be chased. Support and guidance will always be around to help everyone who needs it. Don’t allow anything to stop you following your dream.”

John Devlin, Primrose Award Recipient

’John has been a beneficiary of On Course Foundation for almost three years now. It has been great to see both the improvement in his golf game and the increase in his confidence. He is now focused and determined on becoming a fully qualified golf professional, something that he openly admitted a few years that he didn’t think would be possible. Thank you to the Ciao Foundation for awarding John a Primrose Award and supporting John on the first step to achieving his dream job.

Will Barker, Regional Employment & Events Manager - On Course Foundation