Avondale House appoints assistant manager

Tara Charrin has recently been appointed as an assistant manager for Launchpad’s Avondale House in Newcastle.

Tara, 33, from Northumberland, has joined the charity to support the house with financial, budget and administrative matters including advising residents claiming benefits, rent and arrears.

She joins Launchpad from her previous role as a senior advisor providing welfare and benefit advice and advocacy services, while helping to reduce poverty and depravation.

In her new role, Tara will support Phil Thompson, Manager of Avondale House and the overall running of the scheme, which is the largest veterans’ accommodation in Newcastle.

Avondale House comprises 33 one-bedroom self-contained flats and communal areas for former serving personnel. The charity, which opened its doors in 2013, provides excellent accommodation and a wide range of support, with the help of specialist providers, to residents and their partners to help them make a successful transition to civilian life.

Tara will be one of the first members of staff to welcome new residents into the house and provide them with the essential support they need to help them rebuild their lives. Many of the veterans who arrive at Launchpad face challenges such as homelessness, poverty, mental and physical health issues, addictions, broken families and unemployment.

Tara and the rest of the staffing team help residents to claim their benefit entitlements and develop a personal action plan to address their often, complex needs. Staff work with multiple funders, local authorities, housing, training, employment and health and wellbeing partners to provide the necessary assistance for the veterans.

Commenting on her new role, Tara said:

“I’m delighted to be appointed to work for this great charity. For some, the transition when our veterans leave service may be simple but others find it difficult to cope and this is why we exist.

“I’m looking forward to working with the staff and residents at Avondale House and to support those who may need us in the future. Launchpad couldn’t do what they do so well without the excellent network of partners and my role will be to nurture existing partnerships whilst helping to develop new ones.”

Phil Thompson, Manager of Launchpad’s Avondale House, said:

“Tara is a great addition to the team and brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge that will not only provide support to myself but more importantly, to our residents.

“We are really passionate about the support and service we provide to our residents and Tara will be one of the first members of staff they come into contact with. Her enthusiasm and knowledge will help and benefit them as they set out on their journey to transition back into civilian life.”

Avondale House has accommodated 227 residents since its inception in 2013 and last year, supported 71 previously homeless veterans. 71% of residents successfully moved on to settled accommodation and 42% (pre-pandemic figure) left in paid employment.


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