Alabaré appeals for volunteers to befriend Armed Forces veterans

Homelessness charity Alabaré is appealing for volunteers to join its new Befriending Scheme for veterans to help them adapt to independent living and civilian life more easily.

Alabaré is recruiting volunteers to befriend veterans in its supported homes and afterwards when veterans move to independent accommodation. Befrienders will receive formal training which starts later this year and must be able to commit to meet up to two veterans on a regular but flexible basis. Befrienders can come from any background, either civilian or military, and will be carefully matched.

Alabaré’s Homes for Veterans provide a unique combination of support and accommodation to homeless veterans, enabling them to achieve stability in their lives through improved health and lifestyle, training, and employment.

Alabaré has homes in Plymouth, Bristol, Weymouth, Salisbury and Fareham and is set to become a major national provider of such accommodation and support.

Befrienders will work with one or two veterans, meeting with them on a regular basis to offer support. This can come in a variety of forms and could involve help with completing forms, attending community activities together or simply having a chat over coffee. All volunteers and veterans will be carefully matched to ensure a positive and fulfilling partnership that will hopefully continue for many years.

The Befriending Scheme has been devised by Tony Penny, who retired from the Royal Navy last year after 35 years as a senior Engineer Officer. Tony works as a volunteer for Alabaré using his knowledge and expertise to support the charity’s work with veterans. He says:

“The plight of veterans has become particularly acute in recent times as an increasing number seek help having failed to come to terms with civilian life through one or a combination of issues.

“One of the biggest challenges for many veterans is the loss of the support network that comes with serving in the Armed Forces, and it can be difficult to find the confidence and motivation needed to build new relationships within the community. This new scheme will hopefully help our veterans overcome some of these difficulties.”

If you would like to find out more about the new scheme and becoming a volunteer, please contact Adrian Smale on 01722 344470 or email