Latimer Hinks has supported the national charity Sporting Force to establish a veterans’ hub in Darlington Town Centre, which will help former servicemen and women transition to civilian life.
Latimer Hinks, which has been operating in Darlington for more than 125 years and is part of the ‘I’m Backing Darlington’ campaign, helped Sporting Force acquire its new premises on High Row by completing an assignment of a lease of offices to the charity within one month of instruction. The Firm has supported a number of businesses and charities to set up in the town as part of an ongoing drive to encourage activity.
The Charity, which was founded by Tommy Lowther in 2015 following his discharge from the army and diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), uses links with professional sports teams to retrain former service personnel for new careers.
Although headquartered in Darlington, Sporting Force has links with professional football teams across the country, including Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Leeds United, Sunderland, and rugby team the Newcastle Falcons. Ex-service people are supported to get back to work through training schemes based at the grounds in areas including retail, catering, hospitality, ticketing, admin and groundskeeping.
Tommy Lowther said: “After I left the army, I didn’t know how to cope. The charity Help for Heroes offered me a lot of practical and emotional support, and while I was working with them, I came up with the idea for Sporting Force. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to use professional sport, which I’ve always been interested in, as a starting point to re-integrate ex-forces people back into society, as sports teams link a wide variety of people.
“The first training that we looked at was a mental health first aid class, which makes individuals aware of how to spot potential issues and deal with mental health conditions in both themselves and others. We also offer a number of vocational courses where trainees can learn on the job. The hub will be fantastic for our service users, as it will give them somewhere to drop in, have a drink and a chat, and find out what we have to offer.
We are incredibly grateful to the team at Latimer Hinks for all their guidance, and support in securing a lease of the premises and in such a tight timescale. We asked the previous owners for a recommendation, and they recommended using Latimer Hinks without a shadow of a doubt.”
Rosanne Tweddle, Senior Solicitor at Latimer Hinks, said: “Sporting Force is a fantastic Charity and I am delighted to have worked with Tommy and his team to secure a location centrally in Darlington allowing the establishment of the Charity’s Hub. Over the many decades Latimer Hinks has been in the town centre we have assisted a number of Charities with military links so it is particularly rewarding to have helped achieve the Charity’s requirements for premises. The new hub will be a valuable resource for them and we hope will encourage and develop footfall within the town centre itself. Securing a lease of commercial premises can be a daunting prospect, especially when you have commitments to service users across the country. It has been a privilege to work with this Charity whose work is inspirational, and we are all looking forward to seeing it blossom as part of Darlington’s town centre.