Wiltshire housing partnership launches employment scheme for veterans

By Nick Batten on 1 June, 2022

Leading homes developer Lovell and affordable housing provider Stonewater have teamed up with Salisbury-based veterans’ charity Alabaré and Wiltshire Council to provide ex-military personnel with work, mentoring and the opportunity to secure a new affordable home. 

In Ludgershall, at Drummond Park, the former Defence Medical Equipment Depot, the partners have launched a Veteran Community Build, which will enable ex-servicemen and women to join the Lovell workforce, learning valuable, transferable skills to increase their opportunities of securing long-term employment. 

At the end of the programme, each veteran will have the opportunity to live in one of the homes managed by Stonewater that they have helped to build. 

The first cohort of three veterans, consisting of Kevin Chapman, 48, Jamie Powell, 24, and Lee Hulbert, 39, were welcomed to Drummond Park in May to undertake a year-long work placement. 

Over the year, Kevin, Jamie and Lee will receive training from Lovell, which will focus on learning construction skills, and support from Alabaré to rebuild their self-esteem and wellbeing. This will include helping the veterans gain skills such as budgeting and interview techniques, to help them successfully maintain their tenancy and future employment. 

Kevin, from Salisbury, is an RAF veteran who served for nine years working as a propulsion technician, mostly in Scotland, and held the rank of Sergeant upon leaving. He said, “I was really excited to be offered the opportunity to take part in this veterans’ build, and to have joined the Building Heroes course. This is an intensive course that I am already thoroughly enjoying, and value that by the end of the course, I will be fully qualified to work on the Ludgershall site. 

“I am looking forward to the potential of a new career, as well as being excited to have the opportunity to build a new home that I can ultimately live in. The future is very bright now I’m on this project, and I’m really thankful to Lovell, Alabaré and Stonewater.” 

Regional Managing Director at Lovell, James Duffett, said, “At Lovell, we are committed to supporting local veterans across Wiltshire, and our partnership with Alabaré serves as a wonderful opportunity to provide ex-military personnel with affordable housing and key skills to embark on a career in construction. 

“We hope that our collaboration will enable veterans who may have had bad experiences to integrate back into society successfully, and we believe in the importance of achieving this through teamwork exhibited by our site teams, who provide great mentoring and skill enhancement opportunities. 

“The scheme will benefit the veterans no matter which pathway they wish to take during and at the end of the process, whether that is finding their future in the industry or increasing their chances of gaining employment in another field.”

Eligible veterans can find out more about the scheme by contacting Gary Chapman on 07980 968132.

You can also like Lovell on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lovellhomes and follow Lovell on Instagram at @lovell_homes, and on LinkedIn @LovellPartnershipsLtd. 

Pictured above:  (back row) James Duffett, Regional Managing Director at Lovell; Phillippa Yeates, Head of Development at Stonewater; Major (Rtd) Ken Hames MBE, Chief Operating Officer of Alabaré Self Build for Veterans; Andrew Lord MBE, Chief Executive at Alabaré; (front row) veterans Jamie Powell, Kevin Chapman and Lee Hulbert