Veterans recruited by local construction company

Two formerly homeless veterans have been offered full-time employment following the successful completion of a community build scheme in Leominster.

Dwain

Dwain Lugg was one of six veterans who helped to build 19 affordable homes at Noden’s Mews to help tackle housing demand in Hereford, whilst also creating opportunities for local people.

The project was led by national housing provider Stonewater and supported by Alabaré, Herefordshire Council and the Longleigh Foundation.

Local contractor J Harper & Sons (Leominster) Ltd was appointed to build the new homes and support six veterans on-site by giving them valuable, transferrable skills and experience to support them in finding employment.

Upon completion, each of the veterans involved in the build was provided with their own home to rent at the scheme and six months on, both Dwain and one other veteran have been recruited by J Harper & Sons full-time.

Transitioning from military life can be difficult for many veterans. For Dwain, the challenges of adapting to civilian life included periods of unemployment between jobs as a labourer, leaving him struggling financially and sleeping rough.

Dwain said: “When I started working on Noden’s Mews with J Harper & Sons, I knew that if they were in the position to there was a chance that they may take some of us on afterwards and so I was determined to show them what I was capable of.

“Before this opportunity, I had no qualifications but now I have a diploma and I’m a fully qualified Site Supervisor. This project has completely turned my life around and I’m happy to now be back on-site and working on another development.”

Antony Rees Managing Director of J. Harper and Sons (Leominster) Limited said: “We are thrilled to give Dwain the opportunity to further develop and secure an exciting future, having worked very hard during his time with us. Getting hands on experience working on the Nodens Mews project has proven invaluable.”

Matt Crucefix, Director of Development (South and West) at Stonewater, added: “We’re really pleased that in addition to bringing these much-needed new homes to Leominster that at least two of the veterans have been able to use the skills they learnt on the project to secure themselves long-term employment.

“This innovative and rewarding project has been a great opportunity to show how housing providers local authorities, and specialist charities can work together to combat veteran homelessness and we hope to see more projects like this in the future.”

To hear more about Dwain’s experience since completing the project, listen to the latest episode of On the Air.