Boldon-based, HLA Services, has given a huge festive salute to the armed forces by matching money raised in a staff raffle, donating a total of £1,000 for Veterans in Crisis Sunderland.
HLA Services, which has a long-standing history of supporting veterans, currently has seven on its books, including Mark McCoy, an active member of the Territorial Army (TA), who has been with the company for 18 years, having started as an apprentice.
Daniel Rossendale, the winner of the raffle, which was organised by service manager, Maxine Charlton, whose son is also in the forces, got a paid day off work.
The company has set a minimum target of 5% of its workforce being military veterans.
It secured its target at the start of 2022, with the appointment of former armed reconnaissance specialist, Jay Whitaker, who joined as a trainee engineer following six years of service.
HLA Services is one of the North East’s leading full-mechanical, air conditioning, climate change and temperature control specialists. Employing more than 100 people, it has satellite offices in Cumbria and North Yorkshire and has recently established an office in Teesside to meet growing demand for its services.
Ger Fowler, founder, Veterans in Crisis Sunderland, said: “As a charity, we rely on donations from kind-hearted local businesses and HLA Services is certainly one that can claim that title. The money raised will go to supporting the many ex-veterans in Sunderland that have stood up to protect our country but are often unsupported and forgotten when they return to civilian life.
“Mental ill health is chronic within the ex-services and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addiction problems are rife. Let down by a lack of adequate support, many of the people that were willing to offer their lives in combat find they are most at risk once back home.
“On behalf of Veterans in Crisis Sunderland, I want to thank HLA Services and Maxine Charlton for the fantastic donation and further thanks to HLA for being such active and vocal supporters of bringing ex-veterans into the workforce. It is refreshing and most welcome to see.”
Neil Henry, director, HLA Services, said: “We pride ourselves on the work we do within the community and providing opportunity for military veterans is another extension of this. We truly believe that any man, or woman, that has stepped up to defend our country should be given ample support upon leaving service.
“These are the bravest of the brave but for some reason they are often forgotten or held at arm’s length when they leave service. It’s not acceptable and charities such as Veterans in Crisis Sunderland must be supported.
“HLA will continue to champion the employment of ex-veterans, many of whom are team-driven, motivated, disciplined and will analyse in detail to make sure work is finished to the highest standard.
“Spanning my entire time as director at HLA services, I am most proud that we champion community spirit and giving everyone a fair chance at success.”