PLANS by The Gurkha Welfare Trust to open a second residential home for ex-servicemen and their dependants in Nepal have been given a helping hand by a Salisbury care home operator.

Colten Care offered the Queen Street-based trust the opportunity for manager-designate Punendra Limbu to spend two days at its Braemar Lodge home in Stratford Road.

The retired Gurkha, who has worked as a welfare officer in Nepal, was able to observe first-hand the operation and procedures of a busy and successful care home.

Punendra will take charge of the trust’s new £800,000 home in east Nepal when it is completed in 2013. It will house 26 residents and have a staff of 12.

Colonel William Shuttlewood, director of The Gurkha Welfare Trust, said: “We’re very grateful to Colten Care and Braemar Lodge manager Alison Bremner for giving Punendra the opportunity to spend a few days at Braemar Lodge.”

He added: “It is not only a great opportunity for him to learn new skills, but also an example of the strong relationship of nearly 200 years between the Gurkhas and Great Britain.”

The Gurkha Welfare Trust was established in 1969 and is the lead charity for Gurkha welfare. Its first home was opened in west Nepal in 2010.

The centrepiece of the trust’s work is the provision of a monthly welfare pension of 5,000 Nepalese rupees – about £40 – to more than 8,100 Gurkha veterans.

The majority of the veterans served with distinction in the Second World War and were either demobilised at the end of the conflict or made redundant from the British Army in the 1960s and 1970s.