Defence Minister visits Blind Veterans UKs Brighton Centre and announces £40 million to help house veterans

10 January 2014 12:40

In a visit to our Brighton centre today, the Defence Minister Anna Soubry announced that an additional £40 million will be invested into new accommodation initiatives for veterans.

Veterans in need of housing support will be able to benefit from up to £40 million being ploughed into life changing accommodation initiatives across the country, the Defence Minister Anna Soubry announced today during a visit to our rehabilitation and training centre in Brighton,during which BBC South East reported and ITV Meridian South Eastreported.

The new funding, guaranteed through LIBOR fines imposed on banks, has doubled the total amount the Government has given to Armed Forces and veterans' charities through the scheme.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Anna Soubry MP, made the announcement whilst visiting our Brighton centre which provides free, comprehensive and lifelong support to blind veterans.

Blind Veterans UK has already received £1million funds from LIBOR fines to refurbish facilities at Brighton in September 2013. During her visit, the Minister was able to meet some of our blind veterans and discuss the impact this donation would have, as well as see firsthand the extent to which they been supported by the existing accommodation and full range of training, rehabilitation and recreational services available at Blind Veterans UK.

Blind Veterans UK's Chief Executive, Robert Leader, said: "Blind Veterans UK was delighted to have been awarded £1 million from the Libor fines money in September 2013. The donation is going towards a major refurbishment of Blind Veterans UK's Brighton Care, Rehabilitation and Training Centre. These alterations will enable all those using the Centre to be helped in a safe environment for both themselves and the staff."

Blind veteran Margaret Howard, 89, who lost her sight as a result of Age Related Macular Degeneration and lives at out Brighton Centre, said: "I am looking forward to the new accommodation. The wet floor bathrooms, for instance, will be of great benefit to those with limited mobility."

Speaking from Blind Veterans UK in Brighton the Defence Minister, Anna Soubry, said:

"The men and women of our Armed Forces have served their country with honour and bravery so it is only right that we help meet their housing needs when they have fallen on hard times, been wounded in service or need day-to-day care and support once they have left the Armed Forces. I am delighted that we have been able to double the amount we have already invested in projects through the LIBOR fines. This new funding demonstrates our unwavering commitment to our Armed Forces community and will help transform thousands of lives across the UK."