Help for Heroes’ Chief Executive talked about younger veterans’ care and met an injured Iraq War soldier, during a visit to Royal Star & Garter.
James Needham came to the Home in Surbiton on Thursday 28 September, where he discussed ways of helping working-age veterans who require care and support or are living with disabilities with Royal Star & Garter’s Chief Executive Andy Cole.
Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The charity also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe. Help for Heroes supports veterans and their families by giving life-changing support, no matter when or where they served.
During his visit, James was also taken on a tour of the award-winning Home, where he met residents and staff, and saw both nursing and dementia care areas. He later praised the care provided by Royal Star & Garter.
Among the veterans James met was 36-year-old Stephen Vause, who suffered severe head injuries in a mortar blast while serving in Basra, in 2007. He was 19 at the time. Stephen has been receiving specialist round-the-clock care at Royal Star & Garter since 2017. Help for Heroes has previously worked with Royal Star & Garter and funded a bespoke wheelchair and specialist gym equipment to support Stephen’s care. It also paid for his outdoor activity holiday, supported by Royal Star & Garter staff, in September. During a Covid lockdown in 2021, Stephen raised money for Help for Heroes by taking part in a virtual London-Brighton 60-mile bike ride from his Royal Star & Garter room, supported by staff at the Home.
Andy Cole said: “It was a pleasure to welcome James to our Surbiton Home, and for him to meet some of our residents, including Stephen. We know there is much still to be done to support younger veterans living with disabilities in the UK. This is part of our strategic focus at Royal Star & Garter, so it was great to discuss how we could achieve our common goal of supporting our Armed Forces community.”
‘A really great opportunity’
Speaking afterwards, James said: “When we look to the future, we need to think carefully about what kind of provision and what kind of support veterans might require. We know there will be more working-age veterans and we know that some of their health needs and social needs will change over time. I really enjoyed chatting to Andy and Stephen. I think there’s a really great opportunity to think about collaboration, think about how we can come together, be more efficient and effective together and ultimately deliver better impact for our Armed Forces community.”
Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work at the Home, please go to www.starandgarter.org/surbiton