We've officially opened 10 new homes for ex-service personnel in Bristol

25 January 2016

General Sir Peter Wall, former Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, officially opened 10 homes built by ex-servicemen in Bristol on Thursday 21 January.

The new homes in Bedminster are part of a self-build specialist project to house homeless ex-service personnel. The project gives each of the self-builders the chance to learn new skills in the construction trade, which will benefit them as they seek future opportunities.

We completed the first of these Train and Build projects with the Community Self-Build Agency, and Leadbitter in June 2012.

‘New Hope Crescent’, as named by the self-builders, consists of ten, 1 and 2 bedroom homes for rent. All of the homes are for ex-service personnel and two of them are specifically designed for those with disabilities.

General Sir Peter Wall cut the ribbon to officially open the scheme in front of representatives from Bristol City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and others.

General Sir Peter Wall said: “This is a fantastic initiative and the great thing is that it’s not unique – there are going to be more of them. It’s an opportunity for those who have fallen on difficult times since leaving the Army, to be able to contribute to the roofs over their own heads. As an ex-Army Chief I’d like to personally thank everyone who worked together to make this project a success.”

Ken Hames, former Major in the Armed Forces, was behind the Train and Build initiative, along with Stella Clarke, Chairman of the Community Self-Build Agency.

Stella Clarke said: “This scheme is a real example of the community pulling together. Everyone here today has contributed in some way to its success, and this event celebrates what can be achieved when we work together. It’s only when people come together that you have outcomes like this.”

United Living were contracted to build the homes and provide training.  Stuart Laird, COO and Managing Director (South) for United Living, said: “It’s a real honour for United Living to support this new build development by equipping a remarkable self-build team with the skills they need to thrive in the construction sector. 

The fact that several of the ex-service personnel have now secured full-time employment is testament to the success of this project, which has been driven by a strong sense of comradery and an effective partnership approach.  It has been a pleasure working with Knightstone Housing and the CSBA and we wish the ex-service personnel the very best with their newly acquired skills and with their well-deserved new homes.”         

Caroline Hughes, our Head of Development said: "True partnership working has been the key in bringing New Hope Crescent through from an idea to a reality. We’re really pleased to have been part of the project.

Now that the project is complete, our Housing and Community teams are looking forward to offering ongoing support to the new residents of New Hope Crescent.

We’re proud to have been a part of two Train and Build projects in Bristol and we look forward to continuing our work with the Community Self-Build Agency on the next ex-services self-build project in Weston-super-Mare.”

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