“Launchpad has helped me on several levels, with housing, employment training, a busy activities programme and I am now looking forward to facing the future and seeking my own place.”
Jason ‘Jay’ joined the 1st Battalion of the King’s Regiment and completed 7 years’ service covering tours of Cyprus, Kenya, Canada and spent over a year in Northern Ireland. He also served at various UK bases including Catterick and Weeton Barracks.
Whilst serving, he suffered multiple fractures of his ankle, toes and ball of his foot whilst “Rapid Roping” from a helicopter and although this incident did not affect his wellbeing at the time, the injuries have led to a deterioration of his mobility.
He was in two minds whether to leave active service but, at the time, his partner encouraged him to do so. Having left the Army, he reached crisis point soon after his marriage broke down and found himself homeless.
Prior to joining the Army, Jay suffered from several mental health issues from childhood, which became increasingly apparent during and after his military service. When things didn’t work out in civilian life, he considered applying to rejoin the Army as he wished he was able to complete a full career; however, his prior medical history prevented him from rejoining.
He heard about Launchpad from his local Armed Forces Champion in Bootle, Liverpool and self-referred to Speke House. He moved into his flat in July 2022 and said: “I’m forever grateful to Launchpad for providing a roof over my head when I needed it most. Without Launchpad, I would have no option other than to become street homeless and have no doubt my physical and mental health would have deteriorated rapidly.”
To aid his recovery, he has kept himself busy and attended the Ignite programme – an 8-week course delivered by one of our partners, Equans.
Jay expressed an interest in art and enrolled on a portrait drawing course. Rob Lockyer, Launchpad’s Employment and Training Specialist at Speke House encourages residents who are not ready for work or need to look at re-skilling, to take up a new career direction. This is exactly what Jay has done and is now reaping the benefits. He intends to carry on with his artwork at his own pace and finds it helps him focus, do something productive and occupy his recreational time.
Jay said: “In just under a year, Speke House has provided me with accommodation, a continuous stream of diverse recreational activities with fellow residents, an eight-week work-related construction course to bring my existing qualifications to date and an eight-week arts course which has helped given me focus and kept me stimulated without feeling the need to seek mental health support services, although that support is provided if ever it’s needed.”
Jay’s long-term ambition is to gain employment in a field where he is suitably trained, qualified and capable of working without any physical or mental constraints. He also aims to live independently in his own flat and feels that Launchpad and the support provided will help him achieve these goals.