Speke House was host to an open day mid-March when staff and residents welcomed partner organisations to the Liverpool home to find out more about how Launchpad works and how partnerships could be further developed. Guests included representatives from SSAFA, the Royal British Legion (RBL), the Poppy Factory, Speke Training and Education Centre (STEC), Franchising Work and others.

Visitors heard from Major General David Shaw, CEO of Launchpad, and Sam Jackson, the Manager of Speke House who described the work that the charity is doing to turn lives around. Launchpad’s Gareth O’Neill also spoke about how Speke residents have been taking part in a wide range of activities which both support the local community and help build self-confidence.

The work that Launchpad does was illustrated in a powerful way when Speke resident Grant Blackburn, a former Royal Navy Aircraft Engineer, explained how the charity had helped him in a period of dire need. When life had turned upside-down for him and his family, being given a flat at Speke, and working with Launchpad staff and partners, allowed him to stabilise his life and get back into employment.

Guests were invited to meet residents and see the facilities that Launchpad offers, from the high standard of the self-contained flats to the garden area which has been recently-refurbished by residents.

Since opening to veterans in March 2015, Speke House has helped 120 veterans, 80 who have now moved on and 40 who are resident now. About 40% gain jobs and another 40% stabilise their lives and live independently after being at Speke House.