Healthier Heroes has said a Veterans’ Foundation grant has helped save the lives of veterans by getting them off the streets and into accommodation.
Established in 2018 and directed by a husband-and-wife team with the forces close to their heart, Healthier Heroes work to overcome social isolation, homelessness and to improve mental health and wellbeing in the veteran community.
Thanks to a Veterans’ Foundation grant, Healthier Heroes opened Bancroft House in December 2020 and have since been at full capacity since. This has meant housing 21 in-house residents, as well as helping 15 of those on to smaller outreach properties or back into their family homes.
“Without the grant, we would not have been financially able to open Bancroft House and the veterans we have supported would still be on the streets,” explained Rio Powell, Director of Healthier Heroes.
“Some have told us that if it was not for Healthier Heroes, they would have taken their own lives.
“We are forever grateful to The Veterans’ Foundation!”
Healthier Heroes also offers education courses in Maths and English, alongside running wellbeing classes and providing mental health support for all staff and beneficiaries.
The grant has also enabled the charity to do much more, including developing a bee farm, opening an airsoft range for the community, fundraising for the NICU ward in Burnley and even purchasing a community minibus.
Some residents have even benefitted so much from Healthier Heroes’ work that they have even become a staff members. Craig Walsh is one such example: “Just before my rehab program was ending, I was panicking as I didn’t have a clue of what to do with my life or where to go. I reached out to Healthier Heroes. They took me in and gave me an opportunity to give something back.”
“Bancroft House has saved me,” said Chris Knowles, another resident. “It has given me a reason to live, see my kids, keep clean from drugs and build relationships with family. I have even met a new partner now I am in a better place. It is amazing.”