Homebuyers help homeless and vulnerable war veterans

THE resurgent housing market has given an unexpected boost to war veterans and vulnerable people across the North East.

Househunters in the region have played their part in a fundraising drive by North East estate agents, Rook Matthews Sayer, members of the Homesale Network, to help Newcastle-based housing support charity, Norcare.

Rook Matthews Sayer launched a campaign called The Market is Moving Again at the back end of 2009 during which it pledged to make a donation to Norcare for every home listed for sale.

Such was the buoyancy of the market that RMS raised an impressive £6,350 – smashing their original donation target of £5,000.

The money has been used by Norcare to buy a minibus to help its service users. Norcare is pioneering a new pilot scheme to support war veterans that have fallen on hard times after leaving the Armed Forces.

Clive Rook, managing director of Rook Matthews Sayer said the cause captured hearts at the company: “We chose Norcare to support because of their work with the homeless, and we were excited to find out that they are opening a new centre for vulnerable veterans.”

Rod Jones, chairman of Norcare, explained why the minibus was important to the charity’s service users: “Many of our service users are isolated and rely on the social contact they have from Norcare events, but at the moment many of them struggle to get there.”

The 15-seater minibus will allow Norcare to collect the people they help and take them to their events, helping them to socialise and access any support they need more easily.

Mr Rook said the recovering housing market had a big impact on the fundraising effort: “The market was improving, but we had no real idea how much money we would end up raising for the charity. All the staff at RMS participated in the campaign, their energy and enthusiasm helped raise the amount we did.”

All RMS’s 125 staff wore bright blue tee shirts and decorated their 17 branches with balloons and displays, all displaying the message of ‘The Market is Moving Again’, to publicise the campaign.

Simply Group, a company working alongside RMS raised an additional £246 for Norcare, which was also put towards buying the minibus and Total Tinting of Sunderland provided free branding.

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