The British army's launched an expensive recruitment drive heavily targeting the North East following new research which shows around a quarter of people in the region are ready for a change of career. Julie Harrison reports.
The British Army is recruiting in the North East. Numerous jobs in the Regular Army and the Reserves ranging from bricklayers to IT specialist are available.
Army research shows many people don't consider a role in the army because they don't know what it involves. As a result, its holding careers evenings in Newcastle next week.
Trooper Marcus Cribb, 23, says:
"Being in the Army has opened up so many opportunities that I wouldn't have achieved elsewhere. I've gained new skills and had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland, all of which has been done in my spare-time."
Careers evenings are being held Tuesday 14th and 21st January from 7.30pm at the Army Reserve Centre, NE3 2EF.
There are also other regional events in Sunderland, Morpeth, Hexham, Blyth and Peterlee
Tributes have been paid to a County Durham soldier who died in Afghanistan two days before Christmas. Captain Richard Holloway died after coming under enemy fire while on operations near Kabul. He's been described as 'an exceptional young man'
He leaves behind parents Jaquie and Neil, brother Luke and girlfriend Sandy. In a statement, his family said:
"Our son Richard was an exceptional young man, a perfectionist in everything he did and a loyal brother and friend, who embraced life to the full.
For many, this Christmas will be a time of celebration with their families. However, hundreds of North East servicemen and women will be spending Christmas day away from home, in places like Afghanistan.
It means their children, partners and parents are here without them at what can be a very difficult time. We have met one family in Morpeth who share what it is like to be an army family at Christmas. Frances Read Reports.
Families across the North East are raising awareness about how difficult Christmas can be when a loved one is serving in the armed forces. Hundreds of the region's troops are currently serving in Afghanistan.
Claire Brownlee, the partner of Staff Sergeant Jon Travers, said: "It's hard to be able to do it all on your own."
Captain Mark Aldridge, Director of Music at the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai band, explains why there was an impromptu flash-mob style performance at Gateshead's Metro Centre to surprise shoppers.
Surprised shoppers were treated to a military "flash-mob" style performance at Gateshead's Metro Centre. The musicians appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, to play as people were doing their Christmas shopping. It was to raise awareness of the army's recruitment drive.
A First World War Centenary project is being launched in the Yorkshire Dales today.
The Lottery-funded project will explore the impact the war had on the landscape and communities in Nidderdale.
The drop-in launch event will be held at Masham Town Hall from 10am to 12pm today.
Sapper Richard Walker was unlawfully killed in Afghanistan, as Gregg Easteal reports.