Blind Veterans UK to receive £1.25 million Armed Forces Covenant Fund award for new accommodation unit

1 July 2014 14:19

Blind Veterans UK has welcomed today’s announcement that it has been awarded £1.25 million from the Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund.

Blind Veterans UK has welcomed today's announcement that it has been awarded £1.25 million from the Armed Forces Covenant (Libor) Fund. The award will go towards the funding of the development of a new £1.65 million accommodation, rehabilitation and training unit at Blind Veterans UK's Llandudno Centre, North Wales.

The new unit will enable Blind Veterans UK to provide vision-impaired ex Service men and women with medium-length stays of between six weeks to six months to access our life skills for independent living programme. During their stay, veterans will be offered individually tailored programmes that enable them to address their specific situations and challenges. The new unit will particularly seek to help veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, with the aim of providing them the skills they need to live independently. It will also accommodate beneficiaries from another military charity, BLESMA - The Limbless Veterans.

Barry Porter, Interim Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, said: "Blind Veterans UK is delighted that vision-impaired ex-Service men and women will benefit from this latest award from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund. Following our successful bid, we will invest the money into the development of a new unit at the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre. This new unit will provide medium-term accommodation and training to vision-impaired veterans, which will help them manage life beyond sight loss.

"We are very proud that Blind Veterans UK's new unit will also provide accommodation to veterans from another military charity, BLESMA. This is the latest project that we are delivering in collaboration with other military charities and we look forward to welcoming a range of veterans to our first-class facility, where they will receive life-transforming care and support."

Defence Minister Anna Soubry said: "Our Armed Forces and their families give so much to our country so it is only right that we continue to recognise their contribution and sacrifice after they have left Service. I'm delighted that Blind Veterans UK, in partnership with BLESMA, in Llandudno, Wales, will receive very well deserved funding which will allow them to continue their efforts in assisting veterans in finding and adapting accommodation."

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Award will go towards funding the conversion of an adjacent stable block of Blind Veterans UK's Llandudno centre into a five-unit accommodation facility. Work is set to begin in April 2015 and construction is estimated to take 12 months. The unit is aimed to be ready for occupation from May 2016. Following the unit's construction, Blind Veterans UK will need to raise approximately £200,000 per year to fund the unit's operating costs.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund was launched in 2012, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer allocated £35 million to the Ministry of Defence from fines levied on banks for attempting to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) benchmark for interest rates. The intention of the Libor fund is to support the two key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are that the Armed Forces Community should not face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services, and that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.