A new initiative is set to provide homes for ex-armed forces personnel in Doncaster who are either homeless or living in poor quality accommodation.
St Leger Homes and Doncaster Council have partnered with the Barnsley based charity ‘Help 4 Homeless Veterans’ in order to offer this life changing opportunity. Initially up to 10 one and two bedroom bungalows will be made available in the west area of Doncaster.
For five years ‘Help 4 Homeless Veterans’ has been helping to find accommodation for veterans, assisting them with tenancy issues, and helping them to access education, training, and employment opportunities. To date the charity has helped more than 200 veterans across the country, but primarily in Barnsley. Extending this scheme into Doncaster means that even more homelessveterans can now benefit, and the move is particularly apt as the charity’s patron is our own local hero, former paratrooper Ben Parkinson MBE.
Doncaster Council recently received a ‘Gold Award’ in the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Defence Employer Recognition Scheme’. This is given to employers who “proactively advocate and support their defencecommunity”, and are positive in employing and supporting service personnel. Doncaster is one of just six Councils out of 419 in the UK to receive this award.
Susan Jordan, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have this chance to give something back to those who have worked so hard to protect our personal freedom and way of life. Everyone should be able to enjoy a comfortable home and we owe these veterans a debt of gratitude for all they have done for our country and community.”
Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Paul Wray, said: “This scheme will go a long way towards improving the lives of some of this country’s most deserving people. These veterans have given so much for others, helping them have a decent standard of living in our town is the very least we can do for them.”
Steve Bentham-Bates, CEO of Help 4 Homeless Veterans, said: “In my last role as an Employment Consultant for Service Leavers I successfully worked with Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes on a number of occasions supporting veterans. Therefore it was the obvious way ahead, as the new CEO of Help 4 Homeless Veterans charity, to ask for their help again – something both organisations have now provided in a way we could only have dreamed of when we first approached them earlier this year.
“I am sure that veterans who find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances will now benefit from this working relationship developed through the Community Covenant. On behalf of our service users and Trustees I wish to thank all the people who have made this possible at both Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes.”