A new charity has received a helping hand with a generous donation of paint and equipment from our Hastings and Eastbourne stores.
Established in November 2018, Veterans’ Growth aims to support British Armed Forces Veterans suffering with mental health issues. Currently there is a shortfall in the assistance provided by NHS local health authorities, and with one in five ex-service personnel experiencing mental health problems, this is a mounting concern.
Set up by veteran of 16 years Jason Stevens, Veterans’ Growth aims to provide prompt, effective support for vulnerable veterans, who might not otherwise receive the help they need. They do so through horticultural therapy programmes – offering two-week residential and non-residential programmes, as well as regular horticultural therapy sessions and gardening days to non-residential attendees.
Earlier this year, the charity were fortunate to be donated a 79-acre farm with five buildings, meaning they could expand the important support they provide, but, of course, the task of renovation would be huge. Knowing they didn’t yet have the funds to complete all the accessibility works required, they decided to make decorating the residential units their first task. And Jason Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the charity, contacted local Brewers stores to see if they could help.
‘Everything we’ve achieved to date has been either through gifts, private donations and small grants,’ said Jason. ‘We were fortunate to already have paint donated, but we had no equipment to complete the works.’ Amanda Verrall, manager at Hastings, and Darren Coe, manager at Eastbourne, were of course happy to help, between them donating buckets, cloths, brushes, sandpaper, masking tape, paint kettles, roller sets and dust sheets, as well as an array of unsaleable paints with dented tins and mistinted paints.
Work on the residential buildings has already begun, and the charity plans to finish decorating in the New Year, at which point Amanda and Darren hope to visit the site in Westfields, East Sussex.
‘When Jason first contacted us, it was a no-brainer that we would help them,’ said Amanda at Hastings. ‘What Veterans’ Growth is doing is paramount to the well-being of veterans, and we are very proud to support them in any way we can.’