Gloucestershire's first veterans' home awarded grant

The first home for vulnerable ex-soldiers in Gloucestershire has been opened after being awarded more than £60,000.

The home in Gloucester will provide accommodation for veterans who have found themselves homeless or are at serious risk of becoming homeless.

It has been set up by Christian charity Alabare, which has already set up 14 homes in the South West.

The £62,600 grant was awarded by the Armed Forces Community Covenant.

'Silent wounded'

Ex-Gloster Brig Simon Firth, chairman of Alabare's Gloucestershire Ambassadors, helped secure the funding.

He said: "We are immensely grateful that the application was vigorously supported by both Gloucester City Council and Gloucestershire County Council before review by a regional panel.

"There are many ex-service men and women who find it difficult to return to civilian life particularly after intensive operations.

"They have been called the 'silent wounded' and after risking life and limb for us they deserve our support."

He added: "The armed forces covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the armed forces.

"It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families and it establishes how they should expect to be treated."

Alabare already runs homes for veterans in Salisbury, Plymouth, Bristol, Weymouth, Gosport and Fareham. Since the scheme started in 2009, the charity says it has helped more than 220 veterans.

Mark Hawthorne, leader of the county council, said: "In Gloucestershire we're really proud of our armed forces and the sacrifice and contribution they make on all our behalves.

"The Community Covenant is a small but important way of recognising that."

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