First veteran family move into council home under new agreement with charity
The first family to qualify for a home thanks to a new partnership between Midlothian Council and the charity Veterans Housing Scotland will move in before Christmas.
Craig Pugh said the two bedroom house in Penicuik will make a “massive difference” to him and his wife, Yvonne.
He said: “We can’t thank the council and Veterans Housing Scotland enough for this opportunity. It’s going to make a massive difference to us. We’re looking forward to moving in and getting the Christmas decorations up.”
Invalided out of army
Craig, a former chef in the Royal Logistics Corp who was invalided out of the army after more than 14 years’ service, said they have been renting privately for the last decade.
His wife Yvonne added: “It’s been so expensive and the council rent will be much more affordable, which is a real help at the moment with the cost of living so high.
“But it will also mean, we feel much more settled and secure as we’ve lived in various places across the UK for the past 10 years.”
Close family nearby
The couple, who have five adult children and four grandchildren, are looking forward to being close to family, who live near Gilmerton.
A special Christmas
“We can’t wait for Christmas,” said Yvonne.
First in Scotland
Midlothian Council is the first housing organisation in Scotland to sign up as a partner agency with Veterans Housing Scotland, in support of its new campaign to provide 25 more homes for disabled veterans across the country.
Two properties a year
The council will allocate and maintain two properties a year for nominated disabled veterans and their families.
Veterans Housing Scotland will look after the wellbeing needs of the tenants.
A warm welcome
Midlothian Council’s Veterans Champion Councillor Pauline Winchester welcomed Craig, who served in Kosovo and Iraq, and Yvonne when they came for a look round their new home this week.
Cllr Winchester said: “It’s wonderful to meet Craig and Yvonne, our first couple supported thanks to our new partnership with Veterans Housing Scotland.
Serving your country
“As part of an army family myself, I understand the joy of being able to put down secure roots after years of serving your country across the world.
Proud of their contribution
“We’re really proud of the contribution veterans like Craig have made and with Glencorse Barracks on our doorstep, it’s vital we continue our long tradition of supporting the Armed Forces with initiatives like this one.
A new start
“I’m sure Craig and Yvonne will be very happy here in Penicuik and local people will help them settle in to their new life.”
A great start
Kevin Gray, Chief Executive of Veterans Housing Scotland said : ‘We are delighted to be able to welcome our new tenants so quickly after confirming our nomination right agreement with Midlothian Council.
‘The council has been very supportive of our initiative. We look forward to working with them in 2023 and wish Craig and Yvonne a wonderful Christmas in their new home."
Another family coming
Cllr Winchester said she was looking forward to the second veteran family arriving in the near future. She added: “Many of veterans can struggle when they leave the Armed Forces and evidence suggests secure housing can minimise tenancy breakdowns, prevent homelessness and promote stable and sustainable communities.”
In the picture
Pictured from left to right are Midlothian Council Housing Officer Katrina Fleming, Craig and Yvonne Pugh and Midlothian Council’s Veterans Champion Cllr Pauline Winchester