North East England roofing company introduces 12-week training programme for homeless ex-squaddies
Decorating and painting are among the many parts of Findley Roofing’s Homeless Ex-Servicemen Programme. Image by Syda Productions (via Shutterstock).
After the First World War, there was a poster published by the Labour Party which read “Yesterday – The Trenches; Today – The Unemployed”. Back then, in 1918, the lack of a comprehensive social security system meant a one-way ticket to homelessness. Almost a century on, there are fewer homes fit for heroes. Homelessness could also be caused by the DWP’s sanctions from out-of-work benefits as well as demobilisation. Hence the number of charities helping ex-servicemen, whether homeless or in a precarious situation.
Getting back to work is another issue facing homeless people, no matter what situation they have been in themselves. For homeless ex-servicemen, Findley Roofing has introduced a twelve-week training programme. Known as the Homeless Ex-Servicemen Programme, this gives former squaddies a fresh start.
With courses running from eight weeks to twelve weeks, homeless ex-servicemen will be given the chance to hone their painting and decorating skills. The programme is being bankrolled by Findley Roofing’s founder, Grant Findley. After volunteering in a soup kitchen, he noticed how many homeless people had had served in the Armed Forces. One in ten of Britain’s homeless people are Army and Navy veterans.
During their course, candidates will be housed in a barracks style environment with bunk beds and food, personally provided by Grant Findley himself. On the Homeless Ex-Servicemen Programme (HESP), Mr. Findley said: “Our HESP idea makes perfect sense to me, as it not only helps me recruit hardworking people who can act with military precision for our company, it’s also my way of giving back to people who have served and fought for our country.
“These men and women are homeless on our streets because they have struggled to adapt to life after the armed forces, where they were used to being part of a team and having a routine.