21st November 2011
Tedworth House, owned by the British Army since 1897, is currently experiencing a new lease of life as a Personnel Recovery Centre for injured servicemen and women. The former grand hunting lodge is now leased by the charity Help for Heroes for £1 a year for the next 99 years, and is currently undergoing a £20million transformation to turn it from a former barracks into a first class facility for members of the armed forces
, veterans and their families.
As an MEP for the South West of England & Gibraltar and a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme I recently visited the House to better see at first hand the changes, and hear of the good work, that is already underway.
Help for Heroes, working in partnership with The MoD in conjunction with The Royal British Legion and supported by other forces charities, hopes to provide a place to help injured servicemen and women either back into the military or a return to civilian life. The facility will provide a whole range of services including education, fitness, and the opportunity to take part in adaptive sports and adventurous training. The Support Hub will provide a ‘one stop shop’ to access a range of Service organisations and charities from welfare support to psychiatric counselling. Help for Heroes also provides broader support through their Quick Reaction Fund (QRF) and Individual Recovery Plans (IRPs) including grants for state of the art prosthetic attachments.
Not only is the facility already providing first rate care, but as the renovation and expansion work continues, it will be able to offer these services to more and more of our injured and sick military personnel.
I found it extraordinary that it only took Help for Heroes 17 weeks from receiving the keys to Tedworth House to the admission of their first resident. To have achieved so much in so little time is a testament to the hard work, skill and drive of not only the builders but also of all the staff involved with this project.
Our servicemen and women consistently put themselves into harm’s way. For them to know that there is a facility like this, paid for by public donation will, I hope, show them how highly valued by all of us they really are.
You can see a picture of me alongside the Chief Operating Officer of Tedworth House, Colonel David Richmond Late SCOTS (former Commanding Officer of The Argylls, 5 SCOTS) on my gallery page