Veterans’ Garage is a unique approach to providing support to Military Veterans across the North West to have a stable social hub, to learn new skills, and receive the support and advice that is available to them.
Our aim is to build a hub for ex-servicemen and the local community to come together, creating a facility that can serve as a venue for unique events that can raise funds and awareness for local causes.
Operation Veterans Garage
Our community project is to restore a Grade 2 listed WWII airport terminal building into a base for a classic car & motorcycle restoration garage. Supporting North West Veterans suffering from recent combat stress, the garage will also work to alleviate some of the loneliness and isolation of the older generation.
The Peel Group has generously donated the building at the City Airport site, and together we can create a welcoming environment for ex-servicemen of all ages to collaborate, restoring classic cars and motorcycles, all the while raising money and awareness.
At the same time this project will restore this listed building to house a vibrant and buzzing community club house for car, motorcycle, scooter, and aviation enthusiasts. All ages and genders will be made to feel welcome at this central hub, which will boast stylish lounges, club meeting and business facilities, and dining space with incredible food and beverages.
As a not-for-profit venture, the garage will also play host to a community car club, giving freedom to raise funds for other causes across the Northwest, simultaneously providing ex-servicemen with employment opportunities.
Hundreds of Automotive clubs across the Northwest don't have a meeting point with appropriate facilities. By offering a dedicated centre, with the added attraction of an on-site restoration garage and housed in the grounds of a private airport, Veterans’ Garage will not only fill a gap in the market, but will provide support and a prospective buyer market to the Veterans’ projects.
The collaboration with City Airport and the site’s heritage (as one of the first commercial aviation terminals in the country) affords the opportunity to create show stopping events, festivals and weekend galas. Fully licensed and with permits for camping, the possibilities for both family focused or specialist/enthusiast fundraisers are endless. We are happy to work with all sponsors to facilitate as much or as little involvement as you’d like – the only limits are your imagination!
A few events we think could work particularly well include:
- Automotive meets and festivals
- Motorcycle rallies
- Scooter club meets
- Aviation shows
- Military festivals & demonstrations
- Community picnics and BBQ’S
- Christmas festivals/markets
- Vintage revival 40s/50s weekends
- Food festivals
- Community workshops
- Halloween parties kids day & adults night
- Music festivals
- Family fun days
- Community health awareness days (NHS)
- Private functions/conferencing/fundraisers
- Outdoor/drive-in movie screenings
- Unique corporate hospitality packages including client hosting and employee experiences
There is no better term for the world of Automotive enthusiasts than “community”. Traditionally automotive and aviation events have always brought people together, but the universal subject nature creates a diverse collective of people, of all ages, genders, races or religion that is unlike any other interest group. For a project that aims to support a variety of local demographics, this is an important consideration.
The users of the Veterans’ Garage facilities can be proud that all profits made at the site will positively impact all kinds of charities. Though initially the focus will be on the ex-service group, once a level of self-sustainability has been achieved, our efforts can look outside of this - always operating in the North-West England but supporting a range of causes.
The Veterans’ Garage will have facilities of such a high standard that even those without a vested interest in automotives will enjoy them. Becoming a stand-alone charity once funded, this social involvement and ‘clubhouse’ feel is exceptionally important – as issues of loneliness and isolation is not limited to veterans but is especially prevalent in the elderly, particularly in our region. As a vested supporter in the Campaign to End Loneliness, we will always look to support the older generation, whether or not they are from a military background.
 17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month (Victor et al, 2003)
The offerings of the Veterans’ Garage will go beyond socialisation and companionship, as this is just one part of the reestablishment necessary for those who are ex-service to successfully reintegrate to civilian life.
In-house welfare and administration offices will be created for external providers to have a base to offer services that aid North West Veterans. Whether these providers are funded by government, grants, or on-site fundraising activities, we aim to become a core site of support.
Localised teams will be able to use the facility to give Veterans advice on:
- Alcohol & Drug Dependency Services
- Mental Health & Well-being
- Further & Higher Education
- Training & Transferable Skills
The North West Veterans NHS Mental Health Mapping research states:
(Wirral NHS studies 2012)
Whilst Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is probably the best known mental health disorder, research has confirmed that as per general population, depression, personality disorder and alcohol related issues equally impact on Military Veterans. An individuals housing and employment status can also have an effect on their mental health. However, the actual circumstances surrounding their condition and the military culture and context through which some of these issues have developed may affect this segment of the population which is why we intend to give those in need back a sense of their former community.
The Northwest provides the greatest number of civilians entering the Armed Forces each year representing 1/5th of the Armed Forces annual recruitment intake.
Annually there are approximately 6,000 personnel resettling in the North West accompanied by their families.
It is estimated1 that the UK’S Veteran community is now 10 million strong.
1 Those who served in the Armed Forced (regular or reserve),
Widows/Widowers and their dependants including members of the Merchant Navy
- 526,000 Veterans in the North West.
- 22,000 in receipt of Armed Forces pension scheme.
- 19,400 in receipt of either war pension or Armed Forces compensation scheme for injuries during service.
- Historically facilities for discharging service personnel and Veterans have been linked to Army locations e.g. Army resources and rehabilitation centres: East of England, South East, South West and Scotland.
- There are over 2,000 regular Soldiers, 3,600 TA Soldiers and 7,000 Cadets in the North West
6,000 returning back to the North West region every year.
- 42nd (Northwest) Brigade is the headquarters for the Army and TA in the North West.
- The Royal Navy headquarters for the region are based at Brunswick Dock (HMS Eaglet) Toxteth.
- The Royal Air Force has bases in Cumbria (RAF Spadeadam) and Liverpool (RAF Woodvale).
50% of the North West Military Veteran population is over the age of 60. The majority of this group served in WWII and National Service (until 1960)
The population of Veterans will dramatically decrease after the next 5-10 years alongside a change in needs of those who served. Many served in Northern Ireland in the 1970s will be at or near retirement.
Broughton House based in Salford is the only ex-personnel home in the region, although BLESMA run a home in Blackpool alongside a small number of homes whom offer Veteran specific support.
We pledge to work alongside local Veteran homes and elderly ex-servicemen to tackle the well documented issue of loneliness and isolation creating a facility for the older Veteran population not just with an interest in classic cars an motorcycles and aviation but also a gathering point for social activities and support in raising funds for Veteran homes.
The NHS findings went on to state,
The NHS confederation found that around 27.2% of Veterans who have a common mental health problem at some time, equating to approximately 143,000 in the North West.
8 % (11,400) will experience severe mental health problems.
13% of Veterans within this estimate, approximately 18,500 in the North West will have an alcohol related problem.
13.5% of Veterans in the region, 5,600 a neurotic disorder and 4.8% approximately 2000, will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Royal British Legion have estimated around 6% of homeless households are Veterans. This is a transient population and difficult to gauge the number of hidden homeless and rough sleepers.
It is though, a sizeable number of Veterans who require support and support for those who become homeless
In 2015 we witnessed the incredible and inspirational work done by the BBC DIY SOS Big Build and volunteers, now along with your help we would like to further and assist that work with a stable and fun social outlet where veterans can come together to support each other Soldier to Soldier while using the facility to bring in the crucial support networks available to them.
We have also launched our Become a Friend page which is a unique approach to fundraising in that it allows you to leave a photo and personalised message of support along with your donation, we hope to create a collage of pictures on the page leaving a lasting testament celebrating all those that help us achieve our goals in helping Veterans Become a Friend Today
We are also in need of people willing to get involved and help us create awareness and help us fundraise, we do have some fundraising buckets available and if there are any establishments around the Northwest such as shops, pubs/clubs, sports/social clubs, factories & groups that would like to do an in house collection the please don't hesitate to get in touch with us, you in return would become a featured friend of the Veterans Garage and a public thank you throughout our social media pages.
We are also seeking corporate sponsorship, from industry leaders in construction, automotive, mechanical and design.
In return we can promote your support in many ways, for more information on this please contact us for our sponsorship proposal package.
Other Ways You Can Help
There are many other ways you can help. We are not just in need of financial help for the project. If you could help us to spread the word of our campaign and get other people interested, maybe your part of a car, motorcycle or scooter club in the Northwest would like to get involved, please let us know.
Equally if there are companies out there that would like to help in way of materials, furnishings, garage equipment, sanitary ware, lighting, tradesmen... roofers, joiners, plasterers. Every single fraction of help no matter how small would be more than appreciated. This is a club for everyone and everyone will always be greeted with the warmest of welcome and thanks.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and we look forward to both hearing from & working with you,