December has been quite a month for us. We completed the fit-out of the veterans’ homes and training space here at Erskine House in Wilton and the first veterans have now moved in, just in time to celebrate Christmas in their new homes – and to meet the Prime Minister!
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the impromptu visit to Entrain Space on his election campaign trail, creating much excitement here. He met and spoke at length with our veterans, Matthew Bell, CEO of Our Enterprise and Founder of Entrain Space, and the whole of the Entrain team. We discussed our ambition of bringing Entrain Space to other locations – we know there is a large unmet need among veterans and service-leavers for support, housing and retraining, not to mention the untapped potential we have identified for veterans to work with local communities to reinvigorate and regenerate neighbourhoods, while learning new skills.
Boris Johnson said:
“It’s been inspiring not just to talk to the veterans and discover what a difference its making to their lives, but also to see the model that you’re developing here – you’ve got going here – because it’s really making me think this is something we should be supporting across the whole country.”
Matthew Bell said:
“It was really good to have the time with the PM and our new veteran residents to talk about the Entrain model and our aspirations for the future. I think this is the beginning of a new way to deliver social provision and regeneration in our communities.”
It has also been a pleasure to welcome our new team of staff, including those from regional charity Alabaré, our housing operator. We are all very proud of the high standards we have achieved with the building and are very much looking forward to beginning the program of training with the veterans in the New Year.
Neil Griffiths, who leads our veterans’ housing support, said:
“It’s been really good to see veterans moving into the high-quality accommodation here at Erskine House, raising individual aspirations and giving a fresh start.”
We look forward to forging ahead with this vision in 2020. We have seen a lot of interest in replicating the Entrain Space model, so watch this space!
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