support helps veteran find new home

When Royal Artillery veteran Mark left the Army, after 14 years of service, he returned to his native Newcastle.

He found himself living in a flat, in an area troubled by drug misuse and antisocial behaviour.

To get away, he moved to a privately rented house in County Durham.

Five years later, the landlady had to sell it so he contacted Durham County Council for help.

Having left the Army in 2012, Mark no longer qualified for housing priority through the Armed Forces Covenant.

He was put in touch with Steve Winter, Armed Forces Community Outreach Worker for Gateshead Council’s Armed Forces Outreach Service (AFOS).

believe housing is a partner of the AFOS and helps to fund Steve’s role.

Together they were able to find Mark a new home, in a believe housing property in Crook.

He said: “Steve offered me peace of mind and worked with believe housing to get me into a new flat.

“It was good to have veteran-to-veteran talks, to meet someone who understood me because he’d served in the Navy.

“When I came off the barracks and moved back to Newcastle, I found society had changed. I got fat and angry.

“Fortunately, I was okay. But I know there isn’t always support available, a lot of people come out and struggle to adjust, they need practical help and support with their mental health.

“I know Steve can do that for veterans. Someone like him really is needed.”

Mark, who now works as a kitchen assistant in a care home, added: “I feel I’m now in an area where I can relax and get on with things.”