Gateshead FC Foundation will be raising funds for Launchpad as part of Veterans Day at Saturday’s Vanarama National League North fixture against Alfreton Town.
Launchpad is a veterans’ charity that provides accommodation and targeted support, with the assistance of specialist providers, to help homeless veterans stabilise their lives and make a successful transition from military to civilian life.
For most veterans, the transition from the armed forces to civilian life is smooth but more often than not, those few who can’t resettle easily face challenges such as homelessness, poverty, mental and physical health issues, addictions, broken families and unemployment.
Launchpad was created to help veterans overcome these challenges and to live positive and rewarding lives thereafter. Around 85% of the veterans who arrive at Launchpad are homeless and are supported for up to two years (longer if necessary).
Since it was established in 2013, the charity has supported over 525 veterans within its two houses in Newcastle and Liverpool.
Avondale House is located on the Byker Estate and is the largest veterans’ accommodation in the city. It comprises 33 self-contained one-bedroom flats and communal areas including a lounge, kitchen, IT suite and central courtyard.
Over 220 residents have been supported at the house with 71% of those residents successfully moving on to settled accommodation and 42% leaving in paid employment.
Staff at Launchpad help residents to claim their benefit entitlements and develop a personal action plan to address their often, complex needs.
Staff work with multiple funders, local authorities, housing, training, employment and health and wellbeing partners to provide the necessary assistance for the veterans.