Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester visited Launchpad’s Avondale House to find out more about the charity and to meet staff and residents.

Their Royal Highnesses received a tour of the house, which provides vital accommodation and targeted support to UK Armed Forces’ veterans experiencing homelessness and unemployment.

They also spent time talking to staff, residents and partners who the charity works with, and visited one of the residents’ flats to meet Tony Pallister who moved into Avondale House in August 2023 after he became unemployed and homeless.

Tony served in the Coldstream Guards between 2007 and 2009 and his duties included Guard Duty at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London. He was part of the last march from Chelsea Barracks to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard and in 2007, he was involved in the Trooping of the Colour and the state opening of the Houses of Parliament.

Tony said: “Launchpad has been a godsend. I don’t know what would have happened if I had to live on the streets. Not only have they provided me with a comfortable flat, it’s all the wraparound support that they have provided, which has helped me to prepare and move on. I hope to be able to move on and live independently but also able to spend more time with my daughter”.

David Shaw, CEO of Launchpad, said: “It was our pleasure to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to Avondale House to learn more about Launchpad and the work we do to support our UK Armed Forces’ veterans who have experienced homelessness. It was nice for our staff, partners and residents to meet TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and to talk to them about their experiences and support they have received from us.”

The Duke of Gloucester is Colonel-in-Chief for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and has been Patron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation since 2012. The Duchess of Gloucester is Colonel-in-Chief, Adjutant General’s Corps and has held the appointment of Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Adjutant General’s Corps, since 1992.