ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has awarded AV&F Launchpad a £3,272 grant to offset the District Heating Costs at Avondale House for one year.

AV&F Launchpad, known as Launchpad, formed in 2013 and opened Avondale House on the iconic Grade II* listed Byker Wall Estate in Newcastle to provide accommodation for homeless veterans. In February 2015, Launchpad also opened Speke House in Liverpool to expand its reach. As well as providing a roof to sleep under, Launchpad helps ex-service personnel make a successful transition to civilian life, ideally within two years of joining them.

Around 85% of the veterans that Launchpad help come from a homeless background, many of them struggling with poverty, divided families, physical and mental illness and other welfare issues. Launchpad offers help to enable veterans to find permanent accommodation, improve their wellbeing and develop their skills to increase their chances of finding sustainable employment.

This grant will go towards heating Avondale House in Newcastle which comprises 31 self-contained flats for veterans. Avondale House includes communal facilities such as a private garden and social and training areas, as well as living rooms and kitchens. This offers veterans, especially those who have been homeless, the chance to get back on their feet while they focus on rebuilding their lives.

David Shaw, CEO and Co-founder of Launchpad, said: “We are most grateful to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity for all the help they have given to Launchpad and Launchpad’s veterans over the past five years.  Although 80 to 90% of our residents come from a homeless background, about 50% get into jobs on leaving Launchpad and overall about 70% get into independent living.  We are delighted to be able to help the veterans stabilise their lives in this way but part of the success is down to The Soldiers’ Charity.”

 Brigadier (Ret’d) Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, adds: “We are pleased to be helping Launchpad provide the simple necessity of heat to Avondale House in Newcastle. It is small elements such as this that can make a huge impact on the level of care given to veterans to help them successfully reintegrate back into civilian life.”

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