We Will Remember Them

We will remember them

This morning, at 11am we paused and fell silent, spending two minutes honouring all of our fallen soldiers and marking Armistice Day. Thanks to the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal, Remembrance is not just at the forefront of our national consciousness, but proudly pinned to our jackets and shirts too: in the form of a small red poppy which tells everyone who sees it “we will not forget”. In February 2012, 110-year-old former WAF officer Florence Green, our last living uniformed veteran, passed away and the Great War passed out of living memory. It is now more important than ever that we remember not just those who lost their lives fighting in World War One, but all the wars and conflicts which have followed after. Some of our staff have shared their reasons for wearing the poppy with us;

“I wear my poppy as a symbol of solidarity with the country as a whole. I think we as a society have moved on a little from wearing them solely in remembrance of the fallen from the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and now have a more holistic view of the sacrifices of the armed forces and their families. I see the poppy as a connection to other people who wear them out of respect, duty and remembrance.”

Emma Williams-Mandiville - Team Leader, Weymouth Home for Veterans

 

“I wear my poppy to remember those who did and went through things, often not by choice, that I could never imagine myself doing or experiencing, in the cause of freedom and security”

Peter Bright - Partnership Manager

 

“I wear my poppy for my two great uncles, who died as a result of being gassed in WW1. They gave their names to my father. In my life I regularly encounter people who have served and realise how it has affected and changed them.”

Keith Thomasson – Senior Chaplain

 

With over 3,000 people using our homes and services each year, we see individuals from all backgrounds - many far from the stereotypical image of a homeless person. High living costs, stagnant unemployment and cuts to benefits leave a constant drain on family purses and there are plenty of pressures waiting around the corner to tip the balance towards a downward spiral. Alabaré have been supporting people to overcome homelessness since 1991and we’ve met people from all sorts of backgrounds along the way, but a few years ago we noticed that a sizeable percentage of the people we were supporting came from the Forces.

We opened our first Veterans Home in Plymouth, in 2009, and now five years on, are proud to say that we are the largest provider of dedicated accommodation for homeless Veterans of working age, outside of London. We run Homes for Veterans in Bristol, Plymouth, Weymouth, Salisbury, Gosport and Fareham, and of course Gloucestershire - where we opened second Home for Veterans on the 5th November.

The majority of people who leave the Armed Forces make a successful transition to civilian society, but a significant minority struggle - either immediately or sometimes several years later. Our Homes for Veterans have been specifically created to help ex-Service men and women overcome all kinds of crises: having served their country, sometimes the hardest part is waiting for them when they return home. In contrast to the structure of Forces life, they may find themselves having to budget, often for the first time in their lives, and can sometimes fall into debt. Others may struggle with finding new employment. Whilst some may find that the scars that they’ve brought home aren’t physical but emotional.

We hope to continue expanding our services across the UK, so that we can provide support to the future generations of service men and women who may need a helping hand when they return home after supporting our country.

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