“It is frightening to think what would have happened to me if I had not found myself a home with support at Launchpad’s Speke House.”
Mark, 44, joined the British Army in 1993 and feels very privileged to have had the honour to serve his country. He completed five years’ service in the King’s Regiment covering tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Belize and carried out public duties in London.
With his first child on the way, he decided to leave the forces as he felt he needed to be at home to support his family. Unfortunately, his relationship broke down and he struggled to sustain employment and found himself homeless.
Initially, he found support from his family but this was not sustainable and as a very proud man, he wanted to find somewhere of his own.
He contacted Launchpad in January 2019 and found himself a comfortable flat at Speke House in Liverpool. Prior to arriving at Speke House, Mark was a taxi driver but started to experience difficulties with his driving as his eyesight was beginning to fail him. It only became apparent later that he had a brain tumour which had been pushing on his optical nerve.
“Looking back, I can barely remember arriving at Speke House. I have suffered great memory loss and can only recall events from August 2019.”
After a stay in hospital between May and July 2019, his brain tumour was successfully removed and his focus is now on recovery. He acknowledges that his life will never be the same and he is required to manage and take medication daily to stay well.
Launchpad provided him with safe, comfortable accommodation and he has received the dedicated support he needed. Staff at Speke House worked with him and helped him to ensure he is accessing all the benefits he is entitled to including Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment. He has also received financial support from The Soldiers Charity to buy essential furniture and household items so he could furnish his flat the way he wanted to. And, as an animal lover, he has also enrolled himself onto an animal welfare course at St. Helen’s College, which he will be starting soon.
“Launchpad has been an absolute blessing. Without support from the charity, I would have still been homeless and living on the streets. I have been able to keep my dignity, have somewhere safe to live, keep myself clean, warm and fed. It is comforting to know there is always someone here to talk to and I have compete respect for Speke House, the staff and residents.”
Mark feels his life is turning and is very positive about his future. He is going to focus on his recovery and is excited to start his course on animal welfare. Caring for animals in need has always been Mark’s dream and he feels he can now pursue that with the hope he is much better physically to gain full time employment when he completes his qualification.
Over the last year, his self-confidence, physical and mental health and wellbeing have all improved and he will spend the next twelve months continuing to improve. He would like to find himself a nice home for himself with his own garden and more room for his children to stay over.