From Sandhurst to the stage, Stewart Hill is a creative inspirational speaker, leadership expert, artist, actor and much more. His narrative is about the new energy that has been released from the destructive force of an IED explosion that changed his life forever. Stewart’s candid discussion about his own post injury issues with mental health has opened up conversations about depression as a very real and personal issue. His life is about holding two apparently contradictory positions at once: a robust ex-Army Officer and now artist; negative and positive thoughts; a shattered and whole life; a functional and dysfunctional brain; and being powerful, determined and strong yet fragile. The story of his recovery and transformation is a thought provoking, visceral and entertaining perspective that engages audiences and leaves them mesmerised.
“I don’t think I will ever cease to be astounded by your narrative.”
Kate Kerry Manager Nottingham Traumatic Brain Injury Service 2012
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Read more about Stewart Hill
Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Hill led his men on two tours to Afghanistan and his inspirational leadership marked him out as someone with a golden future in the British Army. That was until an Improvised Explosive Device killed the soldier next to him and sent shrapnel into his skull causing a severe traumatic brain injury in 2012. Gravely injured Stewart nearly didn’t make it but make it he did and his account of his survival, his recovery and his battle with this invisible but hugely devastating injury is powerful and massively motivating.
Stewart Hill speaks from the heart in a moving, captivating and commanding presentation. There is an emerging thread of leadership across his life: exercising the theory of leadership in the Army; questioning leadership and its importance during his recovery; and discovering the essence of leadership during his personal growth and forging a new identity.
Stewart Hill has shown tremendous resilience in his ongoing recovery from this traumatic and life changing event. He is fascinated about the brain and how our minds work in recovery, has a new passion for art and painting and wants to tell his story and share his experience and perspective with others.
After taking up painting as a form of self-therapy, Stewart decided to begin a career as an artist. He won the Great Art prize at the 2015 Armed Forces Art Society exhibition at the Mall Galleries and the Sir John Stibbon prize as judged by Emma Stibbon RA at the Army Art Society 2015 exhibition. He is currently training with the artist Tim Wright, who taught Timothy Spall to paint for the film Mr Turner. Stewart will be exhibiting some of his portraiture in a London exhibition in 2018 and his notable sitters include Piers Morgan, David Gandy, Nick Knowles, Gareth Malone and Ray Winstone.
Stewart took part in the original production of the play The Two Worlds of Charlie F in 2012 and the subsequent tour of Canada and England in 2014. This experience helped him regain his motivation, desire and appreciation of life.
He completed the 1000 mile Walk of Britain on behalf of the charity Walking With The Wounded in 2015. He had two poems published in the anthology ‘Heroes: 100 Poems from the New Generation of War Poets’ and participates in educational workshops with the acting companies Charlie F and Shakespeare’s Soldiers. He finds the Arts magical, therapeutic and exciting. He was also part of Gareth Malone’s choir, which opened the Invictus games in 2016. No longer embarrassed by performing, Stewart Hill even participated in a dance project a few months ago, which would have been unheard of before his injury.
Stewart has a passion and aspiration to help people realise their potential, particularly if they have difficult life experiences. He has recently become a Non Executive Director to a construction company that will help marginalised individuals rebuild their lives through apprenticeships, employment and housing, focusing on ex-offenders and military veterans.
Stewart’s candid discussion about his own post injury issues with mental health has opened up conversations about depression as a very real and personal issue. His life is about holding two apparently contradictory positions at once: a robust ex Army Officer and now artist; negative and positive thoughts; a shattered and whole life; a functional and dysfunctional brain; and being powerful, determined and strong yet fragile.
The story of Stewart Hill recovery and transformation is a thought provoking, visceral and entertaining perspective that engages audiences and leaves them mesmerised.
Lockheed Martin UK, Fork Lift Truck Association, Builders’ Merchant Federation, Lloyds Bank, Goldman Sachs, NHS Derby, NHS Shropshire, Burton Albion FC, Daily Mail Group, Army Benevolent Fund, National Signing Choir Competition, King’s College, London, Square Mile Salute, Various Round Tables, Various schools (state and private)
Very strong and powerful presenter, providing useful insight into leadership and challenges, managing disadvantages and abrupt changes in personal situations and ability, striking a chord on many levels, Highlighted the need to adapt, and to re- assess, but to also understand personal core skills’
‘Amazing sense of humility and an understanding of the nature and effects of adversity and how to ‘right size’ my own stresses and problems. Very compelling speaker, felt privileged to take part in this event. THANK YOU’
Both from a selection of testimonials taken from an event held by a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. 2014
‘Stewart Hill’s session was excellent and really unexpected. Parallels with leadership and health service were well drawn out’
‘Stewart Hill was immensely powerful, excellent description of leadership. Trust, compassion and courage very inspirational’
‘Stewart Hill was amazing. Thank you.’
A selection from a NHS Derby Educator’s Conference 2017
‘I think your key messages are really appropriate for the National Fork Lift Truck Association Safety Conference and I am delighted that you have agreed to present at the Conference next year’.
Peter Harvey MBE Chief Executive Fork Lift Truck Association 2017
‘I’ve seen Stewart speak four times at my conferences now and every time he engages the audience differently and every time he speaks it’s a different approach and speech. It makes our delegate think about the issues of leadership and Stewart is one of the most inspirational speakers I personally have ever seen. The reason I ask him back is because the feedback is phenomenal and he never fails to deliver, every time’.
John Newcomb MD The Builders Merchant Federation 2017
‘As an officer Stewart was an impressive orator and leader. Since his injury he has gone from strength to strength. He now combines an impressive self-awareness with his intuitive and natural leadership which make compelling listening. If you think you are having a hard time in austere conditions, walk a mile in Stewart’s shoes! I commend his offering as one not to be missed-we can all benefit from Stewart’s keen, wide observation of life, near death experience and road to recovery.’
Richard Westley OBE MC Commanding Officer 2 Mercian 2010
‘Major Hill commanded B Company 2 MERCIAN brilliantly as part of the LD BG. He led from the front and was in contact daily. He commanded in some of the fiercest fighting seen by UK forces in Afghanistan. In command he was superb: incisive, instinctive, confident and brave. He was urbane and utterly charming. Major Hill has been one of my rising stars over the past 2 years. He is an officer of intellect and confidence who is widely respected by his men. He is an absolute must for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and is a regular Commanding Officer in waiting.’
Now Lieutenant General, TB Radford DSO OBE 19 Brigade Commander 2009
‘Stewart recently spoke at a fundraiser for the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS). Stewart has an amazing story to tell and really knows how to deliver it and captivate an audience. His talk was both moving and inspirational and thoroughly deserved the standing ovation received at the end. I would have no hesitation in recommending Stewart for future events.’
Lorraine Pink Director of Business Development, Defence Medical Welfare Service 2014
‘We were treated with the keynote Speaker, Stewart Hill, Former Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, discharged on medical grounds and now a successful and skilled leadership speaker. A round up of what he talked about would not do him justice, but what I can say is I went to a coaching conference a few year’s ago about the power of being human and showing your audience this. Nothing reflected this more than Stewart’s presentation & story. He highlighted the importance of having a Vision, the ability to embrace disorder to become better, to learn mindfulness and awareness, to be decisive, have courage and to be calm.’
Kim Ingleby founder Energised Performance 2013
‘Stewart delivered a powerful and thought-provoking presentation about leadership to my team. His experiences, and the lessons he has drawn from them, resonated with us all. His passionate, eloquent, and engaging delivery kept us all enthralled and I have heard nothing but positive comments since. I hope to be able to call on his services again in the future.’
Chloe Squires Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2012
‘Stewart has gone through more than most people in his life. He carry’s scars and memories from an explosion in Afghanistan but this event has also given him an strength, sincerity and trust in his speaking which is captivating. As soon as Stewart speaks, you have to listen: We all live in our small worlds and to come face to face with another reality is frankly a shock. It makes you reframe your current issues and problems. He talks about the very essence of leadership and what it entails. You will learn something new.’
Stephen Partridge CEO Woobius 2012
‘I never got to say thank you for keeping me alive, your leadership and decision making was outstanding. I am alive thanks to you.’ Les ‘Scouse’ Welsh served with Stewart in Afghanistan in 2009 or ‘a soldier under Stewart’s command in Afghanistan in 2009’2015
‘After having had the privilege to meet Stewart many times, both in a professional and an informal context, it is clear that he is a man of exemplary integrity and fine eloquence. Stewart is both a fascinating, and deeply significant, motivational speaker. All that he says is of honesty & rare quality. We look forward to all contact with Stewart for many long years to come.’
Adam Mackie owner YESSS Electrical 2015
‘Stewart delivered a keynote speech at our recent Lockheed Martin UK leadership event. He was outstanding. His performance captured the minds of everybody, delivering a truly inspiring account of his own journey throughout his military career and the challenging years that followed. Stewart represented the reality of the important work that Lockheed Martin do in working to protect those that are defending the security of our country and also helped reinforce the strength, determination and focus required to achieve the most ambitious of goals.’
Stephen Ball CEO Lockheed Martin UK 2013
‘Stewart was our keynote speaker at the 2013 British Triathlon Performance Coaching Conference… His presentation was professional, bold, dynamic and inspirational and somewhat humorous, capturing the minds of everyone in the room. Delegates have since personally thanked me for including Stewart’s session, saying how much they enjoyed it and the parallels they can draw to coaching triathletes, yet environmentally a million miles away! I would not hesitate in recommending or indeed using Stewart again for future events on coaching and leadership training events.’
Paul Moss British Triathlon 2012
‘Stewart spoke at a dinner raising awareness of the On Course Foundation. He was quite outstanding – incredibly articulate, inspirational and very moving! He made a profound impression on everyone and I recommend him unreservedly.’
Nick Gandon Founder Aureus Social Ventures Ltd 2012
‘Stewart is a powerful and engaging speaker with a real story to tell. Not only has he been there and done it, he can also captivate an audience like no one else. He managed to hit me straight in the heart, and I do not think I will ever forget his powerful message. I would recommend him as a leadership speaker without hesitation.’
Inge Woudstra-Van Grondelle Founding Director Mum and Career 2012
‘Stewart’s inspiring leadership workshop will enable our Sixth formers to leave Trent School far better equipped to deal with the responsibilities of management they will take on in later life.’
David Tidy Assistant Head, Trent College 2014