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Erskine Cottage ready for use thanks to SP Energy Networks

06/11/2014

A cottage which will be used to help veterans in the west coast of Scotland with mental health problems adjust to civilian life has been unveiled today on the Erskine estate.

The cottage in Bishopton will be ready earlier than planned thanks to the support of our staff who refurbished its exterior. This means the Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine project will be in its new home sooner than expected.

Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine, is a unique partnership between National volunteering charity TimeBank and Scotland’s leading veterans’ charity Erskine, which aims to help veterans and their families in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

It is not the first time we have stepped in to help veterans in Scotland by helping Erskine. Earlier this year we transported an entire garden commemorating World War I, to the charity’s estate in Erskine. We also helped to build the Erskine garden at this year’s Scottish Ideal Home Show as well as sponsoring the charity’s annual Military Ball.

Erskine Chief Executive Steve Conway said: “We are very excited to be working with TimeBank to support ex-service personnel and are delighted that the external refurbishment of the cottage is now complete. We thank SP Energy Networks for all their help with paying for and carrying out the building work on the cottage and for all the loyal support they have provided throughout the year.”

Ali Smith, Project Co-ordinator for TimeBank’s two year Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine programme said: “We are delighted with SP Energy Networks generous contribution which has enabled a cottage on Erskine Estate to be renovated for the purpose of supporting ex-Servicemen and women and their families. It will provide an important base for the programme.

As well as supporting ex-Service men and woman, the project also supports families who often face unique challenges in understanding and dealing with the issues their partners, sons and daughters are going through. The cottage will provide a vital friendly drop in for Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine and other agencies to work in partnership to support veterans and families. You can also come along and find out more about volunteering with the Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine programme.”

SP Energy Networks, Network Operations Director, Guy Jefferson said: “We were pleased to support Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine. They will be providing an excellent service in the community and helping many people. Anyone visiting Shoulder to Shoulder will also be informed of our Priority Services Register , which offers some additional support for our most vulnerable customers if they ever experience a power outage.”

TimeBank has found that volunteer mentoring can be a powerful tool to reduce the risk of social exclusion in veterans and help family members, to signpost them to services and build supportive social networks; therefore strengthening the family unit as a whole. Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine mentors provide one to one support, once or twice per month over the course of three to nine months. If you would like to volunteer as a mentor please call 0141 814 4510 or email ali@timebank.org.uk.

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