Erskine opens £4 million residential centre to support transitioning Vets

ETSA

Scotland’s largest Veteran’s charity has opened the new David Boyle Court to provide accommodation and an employability programme to support service leavers and Veterans whose life or transition plans have been disrupted.

As part of this support service, Erskine will offer each resident a bespoke support package tailored to suit their needs, including volunteering, training, and work experience, as well as job opportunities with local business partners. The support is aimed at equipping Veterans with the skills to move onto sustained employment and long-term accommodation in an area of their choice.

The new development will support Veterans who have encountered difficulties in transition. It offers them a safe place to live for up to two years, where they can learn job skills, access support services, enjoy the charity’s leading activity centre, and meet others in the same position.

David Boyle Court, based within Erskine’s Veterans Village in Bishopton, features 24 single occupancy apartments that come fully furnished, complete with living and dining spaces, kitchen, bedroom, and an en-suite wet room. There are also four fully accessible apartments. The new facility features two communal spaces which will be used for training, one-to-one counselling and skills development. One of these spaces will also be used as a cinema room.

Each resident will have access to all the facilities in the Veterans’ Village, including the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre (ERMAC). ERMAC aims to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of Veterans in the community by providing them with an increased social network, a range of purposeful activities supported by a skilled team, and access to support services and new skills.

The Erskine Village also offers a range of other amenities, including Harry’s Café, the Royal Scots Shop, a hairdresser, and a podiatrist.

Wing Commander Ian Cumming, Erskine Chief Executive, said: “Erskine’s strength lies in the very special blend of dedicated care, compassion and understanding that we offer our residents, tenants and their families. Many of us, myself included, have served in the military and this enhances our understanding of some of the challenges they face.

“David Boyle Court is just the latest project in a lifetime of tireless work aimed at providing support and care to Veterans. Veterans have a great deal to offer civilian society and most transition seamlessly. However, like most people who change career, they need support and new skills to help with the transition. This project will give them time and space to get the best possible support to develop and showcase their talents as they re-prepare for civilian life. This significant investment signals an exciting chapter for the charity and a bright future for our Veterans.

“We agree with the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s “Positive Futures” report, which states that our Service leavers and Veterans have much to offer employers and their communities in Scotland. They are a source of talent which we cannot afford to overlook. We must ensure that those who have served their country, are never overlooked. Erskine will give them the best possible chance to become not simply successful Veterans, but successful citizens – living and working in the communities of their choice.”

Erskine will be working with multiple partners to deliver these Employability Support Packages, including Barclays Veterans’ Employment Transition Support (VETS), OCS, Walking With The Wounded, Poppyscotland and Buildforce. The charity will also work closely with The MOD’s Defence Transition Services during the referral process.

Wing Commander Ian Cumming, added: “We look forward to working with these partners to deliver the best opportunities to our Veterans, and we would encourage any business that would like to support us with this project to get in touch.”

This accommodation offers a maximum two-year tenancy and is open to Veterans of working age from throughout the UK. Any Veterans interested in finding out more, or businesses looking to support the project, can contact: Tracy Higgins, Accommodation Manager on: 0141 814 4578 or accommodation@erskine.org.uk

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