“The furniture grant from ABF The Soldier’s Charity has helped me to get back on my feet and given me a sense of worth.”
Drew, 51 moved into Avondale House in December 2018 after rendering himself homeless following a series of relationship breakdowns.
He was born less than half a mile from the house and spent most of his childhood years in nearby Blakelaw with his father.
Following in his father’s footsteps who was a warrant officer in 42 Commando, Drew sought a career in the Royal Marines but after a number of rejections, he decided to apply for The Parachute Regiment.
He served nine years in the Regiment including tours of Northern Ireland for two and half years and left the armed forced in 1996. He moved his wife and children to Cheshire to start a new life but within a year of leaving the military, his marriage broke down and they got divorced.
He tried to re-build his life and secured a number of jobs in Farnborough, London and Bexhill on Sea. He also settled with a new partner and they had a daughter together but at the end of 2018, he found himself in debt which put further pressure on his relationship and when that broke down, he was rendered homeless.
Drew was referred to Launchpad who provided him with safe, secure place he now calls ‘home’. He is using Avondale House as a stepping-stone to help turn his life around and become self independent again.
“Launchpad has made me feel more secure. I’ve got a roof over my head, my own flat and there are days when you just want to lock yourself away and not speak to anyone but there are days when you can just talk to other residents. They understand, we’ve all been through it and we all have something in common.”
The staff at Avondale House have also helped him to access a furniture package via a grant, which was provided by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. Drew said: “It’s a godsend. I came here with literally nothing but the clothes on my back and I knew I had to re-build my life again. I would like to thank the ABF for helping me to get back on my feet and giving me a sense of worth.
“Being able to furnish my flat has helped me immensely. I have purchased items such as a fridge freezer, a bed and sofa etc, things that people take for granted. The grant has alleviated some of the stress of being able to find the money to purchase these essential items.”
Drew suffers from mental health problems including PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and he has benefitted from support provided by the staff at Launchpad who have referred him to the NHS Mental Health Team and he is starting to receive the help he needs.
“The staff have been excellent. I like to get in the courtyard garden to keep my mind occupied and I’d also like to get involved in the theatre groups and cycling club. I’m also applying for jobs and I’ve got my first interview lined up. It’s really hard to find a job and not being at work does have a detrimental effect on your mind but hopefully, I’m on the right track and that’s all thanks to Launchpad.”
“From being homeless and living in a garage to independence, Launchpad has helped me to turn the corner and given me real hope for the future.”