Players from the Bedford Blues joined forces with local charity Amicus Trust at an event to raise awareness of the high numbers of individuals from the UK forces who are finding themselves homeless after leaving the services.
The event was hosted by Amicus Trust, a local charity, who after supporting homeless people for over 40 years saw an increasing trend of homeless people from a forces background.
In response to the feedback and with the support of the Royal British Legion, the Harpur Trust and ABF – the Soldiers Charity - decided to launch a house dedicated to providing accommodation and support to up to 12 veterans who had found themselves homeless.
“Around one in 10 homeless people are from a military background,” said Janet Prince, CEO of Amicus Trust.
“At Amicus we believe everyone should have a life free from homelessness and so in addition to our supported accommodation for vulnerable adults we launced an additional service dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless veterans, who are often reluctant to seek support and can benefit from sharing a home with individuals from a similar background.”
The event, which was held to raise awareness about the situation many veterans find themselves in after leaving the forces, but also to celebrate some of the successes of the project so far.
Including veterans becoming employed, starting in education, volunteering and also moving onto their own homes as part of the community.
Justin Blanchet, from the Bedford Blue, said: “It was incredibly humbling for us to attend this event and meet the veterans who have benefited from the hard work of so many organisations. “These guys have served their country and at times put themselves in dangerous situations to help others – it’s only right that they get the help and support that they need.”
Since its launch in September last year, the veterans service has continued to grow and Amicus has now supported 51 homeless veterans in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, providing accommodation and delivering support in education & employment, life skills and mental health.
Janet Prince, said: “The event has been a great success.
“We are so grateful for everyone who attended.
“Amicus intends to continue to grow the support it offers for homeless people, including veterans and events like this helps bring our supporters and beneficiaries together and raise awareness of growing issues.”
If you are a veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, find at more at: www.amicustrust.org/support/veteran-housing or call 01234 358 478.