Skip to content

Debbie’s Story

Debbie, a veteran from the Self-build scheme

Debbie is an RAF veteran and served from 1984 -1996. During her service, she worked in communications.

Several years after leaving the Forces, Debbie’s marriage broke down, which she says was the start of many of the problems she has faced since then. Debbie says that she had just started getting back on track when she was diagnosed with a serious illness. She felt knocked back again and spent six months going through intensive treatment. She has been in recovery since then.

Debbie says that although she can still have days where she struggles, having a military background has made her a strong person. When she saw the Alabaré Plymouth Veterans Self-Build scheme being advertised at her local veterans’ breakfast club, she immediately recognised the fantastic opportunity it could be for her, and she got in touch.

Just over a year since the build started on site, Debbie says the scheme has helped change her life. She enjoys working on the Stirling House build and says the group are a great team, all from different backgrounds and services. She likes that she feels it doesn’t matter that she is a woman, and she has embraced the opportunity to get involved in all the different trades on-site, building skills in many disciplines.

Since starting the Stirling House build, Debbie has done a confidence-building course and joined the Alabaré Gibraltar Heritage team to help restore Lord Airey’s Battery on top of the world-famous Mediterranean rock. Debbie says that getting involved in such personal development and team activities has given her the courage to make a career change. On the days she’s not on site, Debbie is a horticulture volunteer at Mount Edgecombe near Plymouth and hopes to gain the qualifications she needs to make this her new vocation. She says she wants to set out a new future for herself – to embrace change as positive and something she can manage, and to set out a new career for herself.

With the completion of the Stirling House project in Plymouth almost complete, Debbie moved into her new flat just in time for Christmas in 2023. The years ahead look very exciting for Debbie, as you can see from her video interview on the Alabaré Homes for Veterans page.

It’s pulled me back to the person I was before the addiction got hold of me.

I’ve always cared for others, but once I got into the thick of it, it totally changed me. I want people to understand that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Read Jimmy's story

How you can help

Like to get more involved with our work?  We can’t do what we do without our supporters and fundraisers, whether that is running a fundraising event or taking part in one of our public events, or whether it is by volunteering your time and working alongside our clients. Please get in touch to find out how to be involved.

Alabare Together we can end homelessness T shirts hanging up

Donations continue our life-changing work providing support to homeless adults, young people, veterans and those with learning disabilities. Every penny you give will help us to support someone in need.

Leave a donation

Our fantastic supporters put on all kinds of events and undertake incredible charity challenges, from quiz nights to raffles, from walks to Atlantic crossings – the more creative, the better!

Fundraise for us
Client sitting on a bed in their room
Sponsor a room

Your donation will give a veteran who is homeless and vulnerable a warm, safe place to call home. Your generosity will not only help provide accommodation and support but also training and life skills.

Find out more

Quick contact

If you need some help or have any questions please get in touch. We will get back to you within 48 hours for any general enquiries. If you need emergency help click here

"*" indicates required fields

We will only contact you about this enquiry, and will not add you to any marketing lists etc.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.