Scheme to change lives is under way

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Four joiners have proved they do not have wooden hearts by pulling together to share their skills with military veterans.

They worked on-site for 15 days with the ex-servicemen to convert a derelict house on Pleasley’s Hillmoor Street into a home.

Dave Mason, Mick Coope, James Woodhead and Neil Edward, of Robert Woodhead Ltd, Bilsthorpe, gave veterans the opportunity to try their hand at joinery during the construction and develop their skills for the future.

Houses2Homes helps re-build the lives of veterans by employing and training them in a range of building and renovation skills.

As part of this programme they are helping to restore derelict properties into homes for ex-service families to live in.

Joiner Dave Mason said: “Working on the site at Hillmoor Street was inspirational. To see how everyone worked together and just how enthusiastic the veterans were was great.”

Aimi Townsend, from Houses2Homes, said: “Houses2Homes is a project being pioneered in Mansfield and if it is successful, it will be rolled out nationally so it was important this first project went well.

“There was also the added challenge we set ourselves - which was to complete the renovation within a few weeks. We had a tenant lined up already who really needed a home so we wanted to complete the renovation as soon as we could.”

“With such a tight deadline, we needed support from the key trades.

“The tenant was an ex-warrior tank driver and homeless until the house became available. He has now moved in and can start to build a life for himself outside of the military.”

Teresa Westwood, HR manager at Robert Woodhead Ltd, said: “The idea of transforming houses to homes while providing training for our ex-service men and women is a great one.”