Veterans from the South Tyneside branch of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) and Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) have clubbed together to raise enough funds to cover essential transport costs for over thirty veterans from the region.

Each year, the veterans from RASC/RCT choose a local charity they would like to support, with all the money raised at their annual dinner donated to a worthy cause.  This year, Armed Forces’ & Veterans (AF&V) Launchpad was the chosen charity after one of the veterans heard about the work that they do.  

Launchpad provides extensive housing, employment and welfare support for veterans living at Avondale House in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne.  It provides a safe environment to help residents make a responsible transition from military to civilian life and addresses the issues that, for the majority of residents, have led to homelessness and unemployment.

They raised a grand total of £175 from the dinner, which was held at The Sea Hotel in South Shields on September 17 with family and friends from the Doncaster branch.  

A cheque was presented to staff at Avondale House by member George Johnson and treasurer Bill Madgwick.  Phil Old, Manager of Avondale House and himself a veteran of the Royal Navy said, “We are very humbled they chose to support Launchpad.  We are always looking to raise funds to cover costs such as accommodation and transport so this money will be used to cover the costs to transport 31 veterans of Avondale House and enable them to attend training courses, job interviews and other appointments in the local area for the next couple of months.

“Launchpad would like to thank all those involved for this generous gesture which helps to make a difference to the lives of the veterans.  George and Bill were given a guided tour of Avondale House and both even expressed an interest in moving in!”

The RASC/RCT branch hold monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at the Catholic Club on Cecil Street, North Shields and all veterans are welcome.  If you would like to make a donation to Launchpad, please visit www.givey.com/launchpad