Gloucestershire

Gloucester homes to support veterans

Two homes to support vulnerable ex-soldiers in Gloucestershire are due to open later this year.

There will be accommodation for up to eight veterans at the houses, which are expected to open in Gloucester in November, the Christian charity Alabaré said.

Each veteran will be assigned a carer who will help them plan their future.

Alabaré, which has already set up 14 homes elsewhere in the South West, said the scheme would cost £60,000 a year.

Brigadier Simon Firth, an ex-Gloster, headed the group of supporters who made the creation of the two homes possible.

'Downward spiral'

He said: "The very nature of forces life means that people are fed, accommodated and bills are paid - it's a very structured, disciplined life, which is why our armed forces are so outstanding.

"It can also mean that some people struggle when faced with the uncertainties of civvy street.

"Veterans can sometimes get stuck in a downward spiral and end up living in chaos.

"Within six to nine months we very much hope we can get their self esteem back, get their confidence back."

Alabare chief executive Andrew Lord said: "We have supported veterans through our homes and services for many years but, since 2009, have been working to open a series of homes across our region which provide specialist support for veterans who have fallen on hard times.

"We have seen how the transition to civilian life doesn't always run smoothly, and sometimes breakdown of marriages, loss of jobs, or even depression or PTSD, can lead someone to become homeless, often several years after leaving the forces.

"Our homes provide a roof over their head, whilst our team can support them to overcome the issues that lead to them becoming homeless in the first place."

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