The visit to Launchpad in the Newcastle area of Byker was arranged by Mike Ewart, President of The Northumberland Chapter of the Widows Son’s Masonic Bikers Association.
He, together with a number of his masonic colleagues brought gifts for everyone, a huge platter of fresh fruit and mince pies a plenty.
Launchpad provides veterans with accommodation (their own refurbished, one-bedroom flat) and communal facilities, for which they pay rent, either using housing benefit or income or savings, for up to two years. The charity aims to get its veterans into employment and permanent housing, and contributing to society within two years.
When you listen to some of the experiences these men have had in their military career and learn how society has treated them when they left the armed services, it makes you want to reach out and help.
However, we can only help in superficial ways like donating Christmas presents but the work that Launchpad does to help get them set up again in society is tremendous and deserves our support throughout the year.
President Mike Ewart