11/02/2010

Help for Heroes to fund new forces’ recovery centre at Colchester

Posted in Armed Services at 8:54 pm by henrysgauntlet

Help for Heroes is a wonderful charity.   It has come from nowhere to be a most important pressure group and fund raiser for our armed services serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.   It all started because of the disgust that many felt at the way our service men and women were being treated:  badly equipped for warfare; inadequately housed in this country; and poorly paid.  Yet we were asking them to risk their lives in these two far-flung places.   Yes, they are all volunteers these days, but that does not excuse the government for neglecting its duty of care as an employer.

Whether or not you and I agree with British troops being in these countries, (and now they are out of Iraq), the fact is they are there and they need our support.   In particular, those service men and women who come home with terrible injuries need proper medical care and recuperation in an environment where they feel at home.   A campaign was started to ensure they were in dedicated military hospital wards, and to ensure that there were proper recuperation facilities where they could be taught to use prosthetic limbs and given new skills either to enable them to return to their service units, albeit not to the front line, or to face life in the outside world.

So Help for Heroes was formed and has raised considerable funds for this work, as well as leading campaigns for better conditions and facilities for troops.

Today we hear that the results of these campaigns will become clearly visible in Essex with the news that a new recovery centre for wounded soldiers is to be built at Colchester Garrison.   (This is one of four announced by Help for Heroes, the others being at Catterick, Tidworth and Edinburgh.)

The personnel recovery centre will open in 2011 and is designed to help injured service men and women to recover and to learn new skills.   It will hold 20 full-time residents and 40 day visitors, and there will be a couple of family rooms so that partners and children can stay.    The new centre will be used both by Colchester-based soldiers and those from other parts of the Army.

Although built on Ministry of Defence land within the Garrison, the funds for the building project will be provided by Help for Heroes, and it will be run jointly by The Royal British Legion and the Army.

A wonderful project and all credit to Help for Heroes for raising the money and The Royal British Legion for agreeing to run the centre.

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