£500,000 LIBOR boost for Veterans Aid hostel
The UK’s frontline charity for veterans in crisis has received £500,000 from the Government towards the cost of refurbishing its flagship hostel.
The Chancellor’s 2016 Autumn Statement revealed that Veterans Aid would be one of the beneficiaries of £102m of banking fines disbursed to Armed Forces and other charities.
CEO of VA Dr Hugh Milroy said, “We were all delighted at the announcement. The money will be spent on the charity’s New Belvedere House redevelopment project, which is what it was identified for. The hostel investment was driven by necessity and funding the renovation while delivering an uninterrupted service to all clients has been hard. Thankfully, due to inspirational support, we are nearing our target. However, even with this additional £500k the pressure is on and our aim it to complete the build without undue impact on any of the veterans who consider New Belvedere House their temporary ‘home’."
Dr Milroy said, "Not all VA clients spend time at our hostel, but for those who do it is a life-changing experience. Many have been homeless, lived chaotic lives and hit rock bottom. The average stay is nine months, at the end of which residents will be ready to go on to sustainable, independent living - equipped with skills, a supportive social network, a job - or route into employment - and a home."
The hostel enjoys a 92 per cent success rate in terms of confirmed, long-term thriving and the ‘welfare to wellbeing’ model operated there has been commended to others in the sector by the Centre for Social Justice.
“We know we are making a difference,” said Dr Milroy “and I regard this latest allocation of LIBOR money as public acknowledgement of that fact. We literally invest in people – it costs around £8.5K to support a veteran for one year in our hostel and we typically spend a further £1.6k on ensuring that those who leave have the skills to sustain rewarding independent lives.
"This charity is about hope. One person homeless is one too many but research illustrates that veterans are UNDER-represented in this area and our considerable experience is that there is ample provision for those seeking help. VA has never struggled to find emergency accommodation for veterans, or even longer term, secure places."