A new training centre is set to help forces veterans land their first job in the construction industry. After a two year planning process the centre has finally been given the green light.
Planners at Stockport Council have given the go-ahead for the veteran centre, at Hillside Farm, in Romiley, due to the very special circumstances of the application. It will be run by Project RECCE – a community interest company (CIC) – that has delivered a programme to veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life. Their mission is to help support service-leavers into sustained careers in the construction industry.
The team saw the risks of delivering their programme from busy city-centre locations and so sought a home in a tranquil setting which would have significant benefits for its users. Since inception Project RECCE has grown from a NW based initiative to a nation-wide provision. Many members of its community travel across the country in their new careers and so called for a place to call in and have a relaxed chat and be amongst like-minded people.
Their ground-breaking three-phase programme has been shown to benefit the mental health of ex-services personnel after they leave their forces role. As a result of COVID-19 the team quickly moved from face to face delivery to an online model allowing them to reach a far greater audience. The facility, to the north of Werneth Low Road. will also include a pond, seating areas and an outdoor forest school. It will act as a base for the charity as well as a centrally located hub for members of its community to drop-in and find a safe and relaxing environment. A ‘quiet, semi-rural’ setting was deemed essential, in order to rehabilitate those who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems.
Stockport council’s planning committee granted permission for the scheme by a majority vote on Thursday night. Coun Wendy Meikle, in support of the planning application said: “We have these shameful statistics – 6,000 ex-armed forces are homeless and one in 20 of them are in prison – this is horrendous.
If you would like to volunteer your time to help build this centre or perhaps lend a hand with the materials, please get in touch with Loz Moore at LM@projectrecce.org