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Issue:- 7 August 2014


'Left to right: Riverside’s Housing Advice Worker and veteran John Kelso, Riverside’s Regional Manager, Maureen Pringle, The Lord Mayor Cllr Erica Kemp, Beacon Support Worker Amy Marriner, the Junior Lord Mayor, and Lady Mayoress, Rachel Plant.

VETERANS marked 'Lights Out' at a special gathering in Liverpool, on Monday, 4 August 2014.  'Lights Out' invites the nation to plunge into darkness and light a single candle for a shared moment of reflection to mark the hour Britain entered World War One, 100 ago.

Ex-Forces personnel from The Beacon - Riverside's supported housing centre for homeless Veterans near Catterick - will visit older residents at its Boxdale Court sheltered housing scheme. The event features fundraising activities to promote Riverside's range of charity Veterans Biscuits, as well as baking cakes to sell for Help for Heroes. Both teams will be running a stand on the day. Tesco is donating food and drinks.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Erica Kemp, will join the Veterans, alongside Leann Hearne, Executive Director of Care and Support at Riverside.

Riverside is 1 of the leading providers of affordable social housing in the UK, and as part of this help support more than 1,000 Veterans each year. With Headquarters in Liverpool, over half its general housing stock is in Merseyside.   Denise Mullen, Scheme Manager from Riverside's Boxdale Court, said:- "The tenants here are acutely aware of World War One, with many affected by war down their family lines. We'll be recreating the WW1 era with food, household items and music. The day is to honour the sacrifices of the men and women from the Great War and give thanks for what we have today."

Riverside is at the forefront of innovative services for Veterans, with a national network of supported social housing centres for homeless Veterans. Riverside's Single Persons Accommodation Centre for the ex-Services (SPACES) provides an accommodation placement service for single personnel being discharged from all three services and has helped 12,000 Veterans into housing to date.  Leann Hearne, Riverside's Executive Director of Care and Support, said:- "We are delighted that young Veterans from our Beacon centre are joining together with the older tenants from our Boxdale Court today, enabling all generations to commemorate this poignant moment. It is also good to ensure that we remember those who need help today and raise awareness of those issues faced by many veterans, as a result of more recent war experiences."

Riverside's network of Veterans services has been developed and driven by staff who themselves have served in the Armed Forces. Riverside delivers support and training helping Veterans back to work, and signposts Veterans to mental health services.

Roughly a of residents in Riverside's specialist housing centres near Catterick and Aldershot Garrisons suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or mental health issues. Importantly, the specialist support and expertise Riverside's Veterans staff teams provides means that over 90% of its Veterans move on to independent living.

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