£250,000 Awarded to Veterans Aid by the National Lottery Community Fund

Posted On: 
6th January 2020

Veterans Aid is proud to have been awarded £250,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund. Received in three yearly instalments, the grant will be spent on a range of interventions responsive to the situation of the individual concerned, as part of VA’s Homelessness Prevention work.

Those interventions include advice for those at risk of homelessness, arranging emergency accommodation for those in immediate need all the way through to long-term interventions that, with support from internal and external support services, work with individuals over a prolonged period until they are ready to move on to independent living. 

Hugh Milroy, CEO at Veterans Aid, said: ‘Thanks to National Lottery players, funding will go towards frontline services to help stop veterans ever having to sleep rough. We have led the way on prevention, adapting our approach to deal more effectively with homelessness in a truly postmodern way.’ 

One former serviceman was a whisker away from making the street his home after being ‘evicted’ from the van in which he’d been sleeping since his relationship broke down. 

He had a job and a trade but no savings to fall back on or a family support network. He was a contract worker repairing gas boilers, however if customers weren’t in when he arrived, he didn’t get paid. 

It was Thursday when the company took back the van – and his only shelter. Hearing about Veterans Aid, he got in touch. 

‘The same night I was sleeping in a bed, in a hotel. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve got nobody to help me, I’ve got no family; the problem is that as you get older you get more insular. It’s harder to make friends when you’re 30-plus.’ 

Four days after making contact with VA, he moved into our Residential Facility, New Belvedere House, where he received all the support and companionship he needed. 

Hugh Milroy added, 'The Homelessness Prevention project will be delivered over three years and will support veterans across the UK. Homelessness is an extremely complex and challenging issue with many contributing factors, including mental and physical issues, addiction and poverty. I admire the strategic approach the National Lottery has taken in tackling the underlying causes of homelessness on all fronts. It will ensure that the money goes to those who need it most.' 

'The competition to receive Lottery funding is huge; in being successful, we have gained clear affirmation for our work– beating street homelessness among veterans on a national basis. This significant capital injection will add real power to our prevention work which concentrates on immediate action.'