Veterans in South Tyneside club together to help others make transition to civilian life

Phil Old, manager of Avondale House, centre, receives a cheque from Bill Madgwick and George Johnson, of RASC/RCT.
Phil Old, manager of Avondale House, centre, receives a cheque from Bill Madgwick and George Johnson, of RASC/RCT.

Army veterans from South Tyneside have clubbed together to help others make the transition from military to civilian life.

Members of the South Tyneside branch of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) and Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) have raised funds to cover essential transport costs for over 30 of the region’s veterans.

Westoe Cenotaph, South Shields.

Westoe Cenotaph, South Shields.

Each year, the veterans choose a local charity they would like to support, with all of the money raised at their annual dinner donated to the cause.

This year, Armed Forces & Veterans (AF&V) Launchpad was the chosen charity, after one of the veterans heard about the valuable work they do.

Launchpad provides extensive housing, employment and welfare support for veterans living at Avondale House in Byker, North Tyneside.

It provides a safe environment to help residents make a responsible transition from military to civilian life and addresses the issues that, for the majority of residents, have led to homelessness and unemployment.

We are very humbled they chose to support Launchpad

Phil Old

At the dinner, which took place at the Sea Hotel, in South Shields, a total of £175 was raised.

It was held on Saturday, September 17, with family and friends from the Doncaster branch.

A cheque was presented to staff at Avondale House by member George Johnson and treasurer Bill Madgwick.

Phil Old, manager of Avondale House and himself a veteran of the Royal Navy, said: “We are very humbled they chose to support Launchpad.

“We are always looking to raise funds to cover costs such as accommodation and transport, so this money will be used to cover the costs to transport 31 veterans of Avondale House and enable them to attend training courses, job interviews and other appointments in the local area for the next couple of months.

“Launchpad would like to thank all those involved for this generous gesture, which helps to make a difference to the lives of the veterans.

“George and Bill were given a guided tour of Avondale House and both even expressed an interest in moving in!”

The RASC/RCT branch hold monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at the Catholic Club on Cecil Street, North Shields, and all veterans are welcome.

If you would like to make a donation to Launchpad, visit the website at www.givey.com/launchpad