Type Veteran's charity and housing association
Location Nationwide
Grant amount £33,000
Date March 2015
Website www.stoll.org.uk

How the charity helps Working Age - Veterans

Stoll houses and supports vulnerable and disabled ex-Service men and women, including those who have been homeless. They offer care, support, rehabilitation and education for individuals, to ensure that they are physically and mentally equipped to live independently in the community. The charity has four housing schemes which are Stoll Mansions in Fulham, Wessex House in Staines, Chiswick War Memorial Homes and Banstead Court in East Acton.

Stoll’s model is holistic, which means that they work intensively, on a one to one basis, focusing on a wide number of issues that affect their lives: whether it is a failed personal relationship, alcohol or substance misuse, unemployment, debt, bereavement, physical or sensory disabilities, mental ill health or antisocial behaviour. Housing – the ability to maintain a tenancy and avoid homelessness - is the area that underpins their work and their residents have frequently had experience of homelessness, lived in temporary accommodation, or been sofa-surfing prior to being housed at Stoll. Stoll’s support workers are therefore all housing specialists, having a great deal of expertise in working with the homeless, ensuring that they are equipped with  the tools they need to avoid the risk factors.

For those beneficiaries of working age, Stoll is supporting them back into employment or helping them to find volunteering roles. Our employment mentor provides help with CV writing and job search and builds links with sympathetic employers to enable them to enter the workplace. Advice on skills learning and further and higher education courses is also given. Some of these beneficiaries have already moved on from Stoll or are planning to do so, once they are established in a career.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity grant

In March 2015, Stoll received a grant of £33,000 from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. This grant was intended to help towards tenancy support work.

To date, 36 ex-Navy, Royal Marines, or Merchant Navy servicemen and woman, or their dependants are maintaining their independence and living at one of Stoll's four housing schemes. They are being supported by a team of five community support workers, who address their individual needs, and supervised by two managers and Stoll's Director of services.

10 beneficiaries are taking part in Stoll's Health and Wellbeing programme, three have joined Stoll's Residents' Panel, one has become a member of Stoll's Board of Trustees and three are engaged in voluntary work. 

Thanks to Stoll's hard work and the RNRMC funding, all of the beneficiaries are achieving positive outcomes with regard to three life skills: ability to better manage money; meaningful use of time; developing confidence, motivation and having choice over their own lives. 

Andy - Better Managing Money

Andy (real name not used) is a  54-year-old gentleman in full-time employment. In June 2015, he was left with life-changing head injuries as a result of a fall. Staff contacted his family, who discovered Andy had huge outstanding debts and also, his flat was infested with mice. He also had severe hoarding issues.

Stoll referred the family to The Legion, who are dealing with his debt issues and have also helped the family with legal advice on getting power of attorney of his finances.

Staff arranged for Andy’s flat to be cleared of all furniture, clothing etc. and for Pest Control to clear the infestation of mice. The flat was then completely redecorated and a new bathroom and kitchen were installed. Staff then helped the family to get grants from various organisations to fully furnish and equip his flat.

As well as working with the family, staff liaised with all medical teams dealing with Andy whilst in hospital and after his return home. He has now been home since just before Christmas and is managing extremely well. He has a care package in place with carers coming in twice daily, Andy has also attended two social events on site.

Carole - Engaging in Meaningful Use of Time

Carole (real name not used) is a  64-year-old lady who moved into Stoll in 2014 when she was dealing with severe health issues. She had limited mobility, which in turn had caused her to be isolated where she lived in Hampshire as all her family connections are in London. Carole was housed by Stoll in a two bedroom flat so that her daughter could live with and care for her.

When Carole first moved in, she was very quiet and reserved; but with the encouragement of other tenants and our Health and Wellbeing Manager, she started to attend social events held on the estate. Her daughter also signed up to guitar classes which are run by one of the tenants on our Fulham estate.

By the summer of 2015, Carole’s confidence had grown so much that she stood and was voted onto the Residents Panel on the estate, and she is now very active in the work that they do to improve the lives of the people living on the estate.

Camillo Alvares - Stoll beneficiary

Mr Camillo Alvares is an 82-year-old resident of Stoll’s Chiswick War Memorial Homes. He joined the Royal Navy in 1957, aged 19 as a Rating on board HMS Highflyer in Trincomalee (Ceylon), now Sri-Lanka and left as a Petty Officer in the supply department. 

Mr Alvares said he was thankful to the Royal Navy for providing him with an education. He said he spent three years around Iceland during the Cold War and he also recalls his superior officer recommending him for the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth however, he received a signal back stating ‘no Asians as officers!’

After leaving the Navy, he returned to India as a hotel supervisor at a luxury hotel in Bombay. He decided to move to the UK and managed to find lodgings in the Union Jack Club and found work in a Pall Mall club, ‘they were surprised that an Indian like me had English mannerisms’ he said. Whilst working there, he noticed an advert for opportunities at BOC to which he applied and secured a job and remained with BOC for 20 years.  

Mr Alvares found out about Stoll after noticing an advert for Veteran Accommodation in the Royal Navy News. He says that he is very grateful for the opportunities the Royal Navy afforded him including giving him an education, he is also thankful to Stoll. He said ‘I am not sure where I would be without Stoll’ and that he loves it where he lives. 

He regularly attends Friday Coffee & Cake Mornings, organised day trips, IT Tuition, monthly massage therapy and other Health and Wellbeing programme events. His adopted children also receive support from Stoll’s Employment Mentor.