• Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

North East Connected

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New manager appointed to head up Newcastle’s largest veterans’ house

Veterans’ charity Launchpad has appointed Phil Thompson as manager for its housing scheme in Newcastle.

Avondale House in Byker is the city’s largest veterans’ facility comprising 31 self-contained flats. The charity provides accommodation and support to help veterans stabilise their lives and make a successful transition from military to civilian life.

Phil joined 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Poachers) as a junior soldier at the aged of 16. He rose through the ranks to become a commissioned officer in 2002 and served operational tours in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

After serving 27 years with The Poachers, he joined the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Cyprus and was the Quartermaster (T) prior to the Battalion deploying to Afghanistan. Later, joined the 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers based in the North East.

He was awarded the Queens Commendation for Valuable Service in 2004 and in May 2010, after 31 years’ service in The British Army, he left the armed forces where he carried out voluntary work supporting veterans who were homeless or experiencing difficult times.

Phil oversaw the opening of Brims House in Newcastle – the North East’s first house for veterans in 2010. He also helped to secure funding for the development of Bibby House in Newcastle, which he also managed.

He joins Launchpad from Riverside Group where he was manager of Hardwick House, a supported housing project located in Teesside comprising 20 self-contained flats for veterans who were homeless or at risk of becoming rough sleepers.

Commenting on his new role, Phil, 56, said: “This is a great opportunity for me and I am looking forward to working with the team and residents at Avondale House to build upon an already well-established service.

“Launchpad’s Avondale House is unique in that it is its own entity – it’s not lost within another service or housing organisation. I have a real passion for looking after veterans and it’s a great opportunity for me to manage this fantastic scheme.”

David Shaw, CEO and co-founder of Launchpad, said: “Our purpose is to provide safe, secure accommodation and support to veterans who need assistance to get their lives back on track after serving in the forces. Avondale House is the largest veterans’ house in Newcastle, and I welcome Phil to the team.

“Not only has he 31 years military experience, but he has a lot of experience working with and supporting veterans in various capacity – this will be so valuable to Launchpad. He is looking forward to working with our residents and partners to ensure they receive the best support possible throughout their journey’s to civilian life.”

Last year, Launchpad supported 152 homeless and unemployed veterans across its two sites in Newcastle and Liverpool.