Helping Homeless Veterans
1897. David Wood
David Wood, from Poole, is an Armed Forces veteran who founded ‘Helping Homeless Veterans UK’ to support veterans in finding a place to live after their service has ended, particularly those facing mental ill health, financial issues and difficulties adjusting to civilian life.
Wanting to do more to support his fellow veterans and ensure they are fully cared for after serving their country, David and his fellow trustees set up ‘Helping Homeless Veterans UK’ in September 2019, a charity run on a wholly voluntary basis, which has since helped almost 200 veterans find a home. The charity is currently converting empty properties into flats to provide accommodation, and most recently, David has also collaborated with a local garage in supporting veterans who are struggling with finding employment opportunities, where they can learn transferable skills in vehicle maintenance and mechanics.
In a personal letter to David, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“The transition to civilian life can be a challenging one, but your important work is providing a service to men and women who need a home. More than that, you are providing veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve.
“Along with the workplace opportunities you provide, you are helping our veterans create rewarding and fulfilling lives for themselves after their military careers.”
Leo Docherty, Minister for Defence, People and Veterans, said:
“Congratulations to David on this incredible achievement. His dedication to supporting ex-service personnel through accommodation and employment opportunities has ensured that veterans across the UK can maximise their skills from service in civilian life.”
Rt. Hon Conor Burns, David’s local MP for Bournemouth West, said:
“I am delighted to learn David has been recognised in this way. His selfless work in our community supporting those who served our country is inspiring. I look forward to visiting and congratulating David myself over the coming weeks.”
Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East and Chair of the Defence Select Committee, said:
“David is an incredibly worthy recipient of this award. His work has made a difference to the life of veterans and his fundraising will continue a great legacy for those in the community for years to come.”
“I am simply overwhelmed to be a recipient of the Points of Light Award in recognition of my voluntary work with our charity ‘Helping Homeless Veterans UK’. I am surrounded by an amazing team of dedicated individuals who give up their time to help those who need us in their time of need and it is great to see our charity receiving the recognition it so deserves after such a difficult time through the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thank You.”