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Helping Veterans build a brighter future
The majority of Service leavers make a successful transition to civilian life, but not all of them. Leading provider of supported housing for Veterans, Stoll, helps those who are the most vulnerable, providing them with an affordable home to rent and the support they need to lead independent lives. This month we hear from Stoll’s outreach worker Sophie Brassington (pictured above) and Georgina, a Veteran who was housed by Stoll after leaving the Forces. him …
Sophie Brassington has worked at Stoll for 18 months. Here she tells us why she loves her job and the vital role that Stoll plays in helping vulnerable Veterans …
‘My uncle and grandfather both served in the Army, and I’m grateful to all serving and ex-Service personnel because I know first-hand the sacrifice many Veterans make. I previously worked in mental health, so I was looking for a charity role that could combine both passions. I’ve been working at Stoll as an outreach worker since December 2015 and I can honestly say it is the most rewarding job I’ve had – each Veteran and each day is completely different.
‘Stoll is the leading provider of supported housing for vulnerable Veterans. We have more than 259 properties across four sites in London and work with housing providers across the UK to house hundreds more in the community. We provide a unique combination of housing, health and well-being support to vulnerable and disabled ex-Service men and women, as well as providing access to specialist services to help vulnerable Veterans improve their physical and mental health.
‘Many of the Veterans I support are about to leave the Army, either because of injury or because they feel it is time to move on. The overarching priority for me and my colleagues is to make sure we support each Veteran until they are back on their feet and able to confidently navigate civilian life. I see them go through an incredible journey – often going from feeling utterly helpless, facing homelessness and perhaps experiencing addiction or health issues, to gaining confidence, and a sense of purpose and hope about what lies ahead. The key to these individuals rebuilding their lives is finding them a safe and affordable place to live. This is the first, essential building block to them getting their lives back.’
Georgina has been living at the Stoll Mansions in Fulham for six months. She told us about her experience after leaving the Forces and how she overcame the significant challenges she faced …
Georgina, 38, from London, joined the Army in 2003. In 2004 she was sent to serve in Canada but was hit by a drunk driver, which caused major injuries to her leg. She suffered from severe nerve damage and, over the course of the next few years, had to have numerous operations.
Stoll supports vulnerable Service leavers by providing them with an affordable home to rent and the support they need to lead independent lives.
Despite this Georgina managed to keep serving for a further 14 years, but it eventually became too much. She was also suffering from depression and other mental health issues due to her injuries, and was signed off work for two years. After that she was medically discharged and it was at this point that she was put in touch with various housing authorities to help her find suitable accommodation.
She was referred to an open day for medically discharged Veterans and came across Stoll. She got in touch with the Outreach team at the charity and, within two months, was given a flat at the Stoll Mansions in Fulham. She has been living in her flat since mid-December 2016.
Georgina is now working full-time for a chauffer company that employs Veterans from the Armed Forces, and is now positive about her future.
The charity, Walking With The Wounded, provides Stoll with an employment advisor to support Veterans to get a job or training.
Speaking about Stoll, Georgina says: ‘I cannot speak highly enough of them. I honestly don’t know where I would be without Stoll now; they were so helpful and supportive. I’m so happy in my flat and with my independence, and that is down
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