A former community college student has made it her mission to prove that there is life after a career in the armed forces.

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Aloma Watson, 33, is the senior director of Cross-Deck, the first company of its kind in the country.

And it is her mission to help set up forces personnel for the rest of their lives; because Cross-Deck is a dating site with a difference.

Aloma said: “We match up highly skilled former service personnel with a job that matches their skill set.”

“My husband Michael is a serving Royal Marine and I see how difficult it is for armed forces leavers to adapt to civilian life.

“For years they are told how to dress, when to wake up and what their role is and it can be very difficult.”

Exmouth has always been a community which has supported the armed services.

During World War Two American GI’s were camped in Phear Park, while in the 50s the Devon and Dorset’s were largely made up of Exmouth conscripts.

And for decades Lympstone’s CTC Commando has trained the Royal Marines, with hundreds choosing to settle in the town following their retirements.

But at a time when thousands of forces personnel could lose their jobs through Government cuts, losing what many thought was a job for life, Aloma and her colleagues saw an opportunity to help provide a service.

“If you have been in the armed forces you have so many things going for you; a wide range of skills, reliability and discipline for example. If you have been in the army you are never going to be late for work!”

Cross-Deck was set up six months ago by managing director and former marine Dixie Dean, and in a short time has expanded from working in front rooms on laptops to plush new offices in the Strand.

With over 12,000 jobs available on their website at any one time, and 22,000 hits a month, they are well placed to point forces leavers in the right direction.

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