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Washington-based Findley Roofing launches training scheme to help homeless ex-servicemen build roofs over their heads


Homeless ex-servicemen are being offered a chance to rebuild their lives, thanks to a re-homing and training scheme which has been launched by a leading North East roofing and building specialist.

Findley Roofing’s Homeless Ex Servicemen Programme (HESP) has been set up in the hope of offering those with a military background support they require after leaving the forces, while solving a skills shortage within the industry.

Believed to be the only one of its kind, the eight to 12-week programme will give former servicemen a roof over their heads and even the possibility of the full employment.

Trainees will work closely with sales and marketing director, Tony Finnegan and CEO Grant Findley, on a daily basis as they learn how to carry out basic entry level tasks, such as painting, decorating and low level maintenance and construction work at the Washington-based firm.

“Our HESP idea makes perfect sense to me, as it not only helps me recruit hardworking people who can act with military precision for our company, it’s also my way of giving back to people who have served and fought for our country,” said Grant.

“These men and women are homeless on our streets because they have struggled to adapt to life after the armed forces, where they were used to being part of a team and having a routine.

“I want to give them this feeling back, as well as offer them direction and hope, by giving them a trade and eventually recruiting them to work for our company.”

Those attending the scheme will be housed at company owned apartments in Durham, in rooms with bunkbeds similar to those in the barracks, with food also provided, all of which will be personally funded by Grant.

Last year it was reported one in 10 homeless people nationally were ex-personnel, as many of those leaving the military, struggle to adapt to civilian life.

Grant who came up with the idea for HESP after spending time volunteering and donating food to soup kitchens, hopes Findley Roofing’s HESP will help combat this issue.

A pilot HESP scheme was completed last year which has already seen one ex-marine now in full-time employment at Findley Roofing. Grant and Tony hope to build on this success by formally launching HESP this Summer.

He added: “I have been overwhelmed with support since sharing my idea and many local businesses and people have offered to help out.

“Both Tony and I are philanthropists at heart and it gives us enormous pleasure to know that just one ex-serviceman isn’t sleeping rough tonight. Instead he has accommodation and a full-time job thanks to the HESP project and I hope there will be many more following in his footsteps.

“Initially HESP is being rolled out across the North East, however I believe it is very much needed across the country and can be extremely successful.”

To find out more about HESP or if you know anyone who could benefit from this service, please call 0191 417 3422 or visit: http://www.findleyroofing.co.uk/hesp

Twitter: @Findley_Roofing

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