Boost for veterans as charity home opens up in Gosport

WELCOME Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage opens Alabar�'s new home in Parham Road. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132456-3)
WELCOME Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage opens Alabar�'s new home in Parham Road. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132456-3)
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A VETERANS’ charity has opened a new home for ex-servicemen and women to get their lives back on track.

Alabaré officially opened the four-bedroom home, in Parham Road, Gosport, which helps veterans with low support needs.

It offers short-term accommodation for people aiming to find their feet again after coming out of the services.

Gosport’s MP Caroline Dinenage cut the ribbon before Alabaré’s senior Chaplain, Canon Jonathan Martin, led a service blessing the house.

One of the residents, Steven McLean, 60, is a former private in the Royal Corps of Transport.

He served in the army from 1972 to 1986 but has recently suffered from problems with alcohol.

Mr McClean told The News he was leading a troubled life before he was introduced to Alabaré.

He said: ‘I went downhill and I was in a dump and lost my job. I’ll try to get somewhere of my own now.

‘At the moment, because there isn’t any work, it’s hard.

‘There are three of us in our 60s and one in his 50s here.’

Mr McLean has previously lived in the Fareham home – the charity has one more in Priddy’s Hard, Gosport.

He added living with former servicemen brought back memories of his career.

‘It’s good to be back with the old boys,’ said Mr McLean.

‘I did 14 years in the mob ...it’s good to get back in because you start to get the old comradeship.’

The charity has 14 similar homes.

Dawn Foster, based in Fareham, is a team leader at the Christian charity.

She said: ‘This is a move-on house, the third house that we’ve opened.

‘The guys go to the houses in Gosport and Fareham, where they’re fully supported Monday to Friday.

‘And when they’re in a position to move on they needed somewhere to go, this is why we opened this house.’

Support staff visit the home in Parham Road once or twice a week.

Dawn added she has six referrals for people in the area waiting for accommodation.