Under Secretary of State Visits Accommodation for Ex-Service Personnel

MP "very impressed" with Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation’s residences for homeless

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Derek Twigg MP, Under Secretary of State for Defence, this week visited new state-of-the-art accommodation for homeless ex-Service personnel at the Westway Beacons development.

The Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation has provided 20 single bed apartments at this unique facility in East Acton. It forms part of a supportive community that will address many of the issues facing those who have experienced life on the streets.

At the hub of this community will be the Learning Zone providing a programme of counselling and employment training by tutors experienced in working with former excluded people. The Learning Zone will be open to all ex-service personnel referred by the various agencies working with the Foundation to address the issue of homelessness.

Mr Twigg said "I am very impressed with the high quality accommodation made available to homeless ex-servicemen and women by the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation.
Homelessness is a terrible problem and one that affects people from all walks of life, including our ex-Servicemen and women. It is very unusual for someone to be homeless when they leave the Armed Forces and the MoD goes to great lengths to help the 23,000 people who leave service each year find suitable accommodation. We work very closely with all interested charities to help those who become homeless."

Rick Brunwin, Chief Executive of the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation, said "This unique scheme is part of our continuing commitment to reducing the numbers of homeless ex-Servicemen and women. The successful ethos adopted at Stoll mansions and working in partnership with other like minded organisations has ensured a model of provision at Westway Beacons that will ensure ex-service personnel are sustained on a pathway out of homelessness and settled within the community."

The first tenants moved into Westway Beacons in time for Christmas last year. However, the foundation’s latest development, Chiswick War Memorial Homes on Burlington Lane, has not been met warmly by local residents.

Although the plans to redevelop the site, which currently provides 16 homes, have been approved by Hounslow Council, residents claim that the planners “ignored their own rules.” An official complaint has been launched.

February 9, 2007