“The staff at Launchpad have been great and are very knowledgeable – I can’t thank them enough for their time and support. I enjoy being around like-minded people. They understand the squaddie humour and it feels good to be part of that.”
Kevin served 23 years and 141 days in the British Army. He left on 13 October 2005 – the day before his birthday.
He joined in 1982 and completed his training at the Royal Army Ordinance Apprentice College in Blackdown and the following year, was posted to 40th Field Regiment Royal Artillery at Kirkee Barracks in Colchester and then became part of 45th Field Regiment.
In 1987, he was posted oversees with 5th Battalion, 52 Company to Paderborn in Germany until 1990. He was then based at Log Base Echo Desert Storm in the first Gulf War. On his return in 1991, he headed to Bicester with 16 Battalion and carried out his first tour of Northern Ireland.
He then served a further two tours of Northern Ireland and a tour of Bosnia with 24 Infantry Brigade, 3 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps in Abington and Londonderry until 2000. His final posting was with 6 Supply Regiment, 67 Squadron at Tower Barracks in Dulmen, Germany where he covered tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and a year in Kenya.
When he left the Army, he moved to Newcastle and met his partner and secured employment at Newcastle Airport.
A colleague who was under combat stress encouraged Kevin to seek help and after an assessment, he was sent to Hollybush in Scotland on a treatment programme. He was then sent to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London where he was diagnosed with military PTSD.
When he was discharged, he headed back to Newcastle and worked with Combat Stress again who later referred him to a veterans’ support agency and helped him fill out an application for a War Pension.
During lockdown and the Covid-19 restrictions, his mental health took a turn for the worse which resulted in a breakdown in his relationship and he found himself homeless.
He self-referred to Launchpad and hasn’t looked back. Staff developed a plan for his transition and put in place a support package to ensure he got the help he needed.
Kevin said: “I’ve been living here for a while now and I’m receiving the help that I need a lot quicker than when I was on my own. I enjoy my time here around like-minded people who understand me. They know when to help and when to leave you alone. They understand the squaddie humour and it feels good to be a part of that. The staff have been great and very knowledgeable with their help, I can’t thank them enough for their continuous time and support.”