Vital funding from VIVO Defence Services has helped veterans’ charity Launchpad to improve the external facilities at Hollyacre House in Sacriston, Durham.

Earlier this year, VIVO, which provides facilities management and accommodation maintenance for the UK military and its partners, awarded the charity £10,000 sponsorship as part of a two-year corporate partnership.

The funding has contributed towards the costs to tarmac the car parking facilities at the house, which will also accommodate disabled residents and improve the visiting experience.

When Launchpad took over the management and operation of Hollyacre House last year, the grounds around the house were extremely overgrown and unkempt. The driveway leading to the house and the dedicated car parking area for residents became heavily deteriorated and was in major disrepair.

Now, thanks to additional funding, the new car parking facility is not only more functional, it has aesthetically improved the external appearance of the house.

Launchpad provides accommodation and services, with the help of specialist providers, to support homeless veterans who have fallen on hard times and have found the transition from military to civilian life difficult. Hollyacre House comprises 16 self-contained apartments for veterans and their partners, and includes a communal lounge, kitchen and a gym for residents to relax and socialise.

Phil Thompson, Manager of Hollyacre House, said:

“Naturally, when we took on the ownership of the house there were a lot of jobs that needed doing. Our main focus was to concentrate on undertaking essential internal improvements to the flats and communal areas. The car park was in desperate need of repair, to the point where residents were refusing to use the area because of the risk of damage to their cars.


“Improving the car parking facilities was always a job that needed doing but, as a small charity, a huge expense, so we are very grateful to VIVO Defence for providing this funding to enable us to carry out these essential works. The result is amazing and will hugely benefit residents and visitors, but it has also significantly changed the appearance of the house.”

Jerry Moloney, VIVO Defence Services Managing Director, added:

“As an organisation that works solely for the UK military and its partners, giving back to charities that do such great work – as Launchpad does for former armed services personnel – is really important to us.


“I am proud we have been able to help in this way, the new driveway looks fantastic. I look forward to seeing what more work we can do together throughout our partnership for Launchpad and, of course, the veterans it does so much for.”

In addition to the funding, VIVO Defence has also committed to arrange for its employees to visit Launchpad’s locations to provide workshops, job training and advice to residents seeking employment.