Some service leavers find the transition into civilian life hugely difficult and can face problems including homelessness, family breakdown and difficulties with their physical and mental health, often related to the time they spent in the Armed Forces. Many of these Veterans struggle with substance abuse problems and some have spent time in the prison system. This award recognises organisations that provide outstanding help to Veterans in need, whilst also showing entrepreneurial qualities. The very worthy winner this year, and beneficiary of a generous £20,000 grant from The Veterans’ Foundation, was Launchpad, which was founded by members of the military community in 2013 who believe these Veterans deserve the nation’s help and support following the service they have given for their country.
Launchpad offer up to 2 years’ accommodation and support to these Veterans through two residential sites in Newcastle and Liverpool, encompassing over 70 self-contained flats and practical help towards rehabilitation offered by the Launchpad team. The organisation partner with other organisations and charities in order to provide a coherent and streamlined support system and won the ‘Working Together’ Award at the ‘Soldiering On’ Awards in 2016. They have also received recognition from city councils and royalty. Since 2013 they have helped more than 400 Veterans, with over 48% having found paid employment and, in 2018, 60% in long-term, settled accommodation. Launchpad have outlined how the award will benefit them and those they help:
“We are proud to have been nominated for a Heropreneurs Award by an ex-resident. £20,000 would provide a year’s support to eight additional veterans who have served their country but found themselves living on the streets, using food banks to survive and/or experiencing complex mental health problems.”
To find out more about Launchpad, please click here.