Helena Tenant Meets Inspirational Falklands Veteran
Published by Ashley M for Helena Partnerships in Communities
Falklands veteran Simon Weston OBE with Helena tenant David Ogden.
A young Helena Partnerships tenant with aspirations to join the Army has received first-hand advice from Falklands veteran Simon Weston OBE.
David Ogden, 26, met the former Welsh Guardsman - who famously suffered 46% burns during an explosion aboard the Sir Galahad in 1982 - as part of a trip to St Helens organised by the housing association.
Appleton Road tenant David, who has received on-going advice and support from Helena’s Tenancy Support team about budgeting and living independently, said: “I’m studying a fitness course and have been thinking about joining the Army as a fitness trainer, so Simon’s advice has given me lots of food for thought.
“Despite what happened to him, Simon still says that his days in the military were the best of his life and he really made an impression on me as a genuine, down-to-earth man.”
David was part of a group of tenants who spent time with Simon during his visit to Appleton Road, where Helena has introduced a local lettings policy to give priority housing to under 25s and people seeking work or training. Through increased security measures and a compulsory pre-tenancy training course, Helena has helped to reduce anti-social behaviour in the area, vastly lower the turnover of flats and support 26 young people into volunteering, work or training since May 2011.
Simon said: “It’s amazing what can happen when people think differently and creatively, as Helena has done at Appleton Road.
“The project focusing on young people is truly inspiring and visionary and has had such positive results already.”