Veterans’ charity Launchpad expands Liverpool team

Veterans’ charity, Launchpad, has welcomed two new significant appointments to its team in Liverpool.

Launchpad provides accommodation and targeted support to UK Armed Forces’ veterans that experience homelessness and unemployment. And the new appointments strengthen its offer.

Launchpad appointments Donna and Patrick

Patrick Donaghue has been appointed as an Employment and Training Specialist. Previously he worked as a Mental Health Stepdown Recovery Worker supporting patients on their road to recovery and helping them to integrate back into society.

Patrick will support up to 50 veterans at any one time by matching their skills and supporting them into work. The veterans will be living at the house and seeking employment by engaging with training specialists, colleges, and corporate partners,

Donna Thomson has been appointed as an Independent Living Co-ordinator to support the residents once they have moved on from Speke House and to help them successfully transition to living independently.

Donna previously worked as a Women’s Centre Support Coach/Keyworker for a housing association. She has experience of working with vulnerable adults and supporting them by developing personalised action.

At Speke House, she will be responsible for supporting Launchpad’s veterans by linking them with a variety of external partners and providers to support their needs. This tailored support will help veterans access the benefits they are entitled to such securing tenancies, and gaining support for their mental health issues and wellbeing.

Donna’s role is being funded as part of the government’s Op FORTITUDE programme – a pathway to reduce veterans’ homelessness.

Last year, Launchpad was selected by the government as one of nine funded organisations to reduce veterans’ homelessness. The programme will see Launchpad support 230 homeless veterans over two years from all three of its houses.

Sam Jackson, Manager of Launchpad’s Speke House, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Patrick and Donna to our growing team – these are both significant appointments for Speke House. They both bring with them the skills, knowledge and experience that will help to enhance our service delivery and the support we provide to our residents. We provide tailored support to each resident, focussing on three core pillars: mental health and wellbeing, employment and move on. Both Patrick and Donna’s roles will complement each other. Experience shows that once residents secure employment, it gives them something to focus on – some structure and stability. This then gives them the confidence to move and live independently which is our ultimate priority.

Speke House comprises 50 self-contained, one-bedroom flats for former serving personnel and their partners. Launchpad has three houses in the North of England in Liverpool, Newcastle and Durham providing accommodation for 101 homeless veterans – accepting veterans from all over the UK.