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Five years of Help for Heroes
IT IS now five years since Bryn and Emma Parry decided to do something to help wounded soldiers – and what a five years it has been.
After a modest aim to raise £5m to help fund an urgently needed swimming pool at Headley Court, Help for Heroes (H4H) has now raised over £150 million which is being used to help servicemen and women wounded in battle.
Working with the Ministry of Defence and other service charities, H4H has established Personnel Recovery Centres in Tidworth, Plymouth, Colchester and Edinburgh, has helped to fund the SSAFA Norton Home and the Fisher House in Birmingham, established a £6 million Quick Reaction Fund for emergencies and donated £4 million to help other service charities.
The recent open day at Tedworth House gave us a glimpse of the material benefits that H4H has provided, but what is even more important is the pastoral care and support that the wounded are given.
Upstairs at Tedworth House is The Hub, a large room where H4H support and welfare staff sit with representatives from Defence Welfare Services, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, The Royal British Legion and a host of other charities so that a wounded soldier can receive the best support available.
Many of the soldiers who have been injured and been supported by H4H and the other service charities have said that this support has given them more opportunities than they had before, but this is not for everyone.
We have already seen wounded soldiers going on to complete in this year’s Paralympics, and they are an example to other wounded soldiers. But this is not for all of them, and the support that is being given now will have to continue for life.
Mr Parry says lobbying of government must continue to ensure that the needs of wounded veterans continue to be recognised and that they be given support by local and central government agencies when they fully move into civilian life. As Remembrance Day comes closer, please keep supporting The Royal British Legion, H4H and the other service charities but also keep reminding local leaders to give them the support they deserve.