Merchant Venturers' £30,000 Boost For 'Homes for Heroes' Initiative
By AnnaClark | Tuesday, November 01, 2011, 11:15
As new homes for veterans take shape in Bristol, the provision of a £30,000 grant by Clifton-based the Merchant Venturers, has been marked by a visit to the site by the Society's Master, Giles Clarke.
Giles Clarke, Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers and Stella Clarke, Chair of the Community Self Build Agency with the Forces Self Build Scheme team
The pioneering Forces Self Build Scheme, which is taking shape in West Street, Bedminster, provides the opportunity for 12 ex-servicemen to build their own homes.
The Merchants' gift will help fund building and construction training and ensure the presence of a skilled workman on site. The scheme has also received generous support from the Army Benevolent Fund and Knightstone Housing.
The project is the brainchild of Stella Clarke, Chair of the Community Self Build Agency, and former SAS Major Ken Hames. It is designed to provide a step up to ex-servicemen who are struggling to adapt to civilian life, giving them the opportunity to build their own homes.
Giles said: "In recent years, of the thousands of UK soldiers that have served around the world a number have found it difficult returning home and re-adapting to their civilian lives.
"Homelessness can occur as many suffer deep emotional scars from their experiences, which can manifest in a range of mental and physical health problems.
"The Merchants' are committed to supporting vulnerable sections of Bristol's society and feel that that Self Build Scheme is in keeping with one of the Society's objectives to promote learning and the acquisition of skills."
Alongside the Self Build Scheme, the Merchants have supported a number of other projects aimed at helping veterans in Bristol. Earlier in the year, the first Bristol-based residential home for veterans opened its doors. Provided by specialist support charity Alabaré and with funding from the Society of Merchant Venturers, the home is the first of its kind in Bristol.
The Society were also joint sponsors of a series of lectures on the Zulu wars in support of Help for Heroes, raising in total over £100,000.