A new centre to help wounded servicemen and women - and veterans - recover from terrible injuries and mental trauma has officially opened in North Yorkshire today.
The conflict in Afghanistan has seen a sharp rise in the number of military personnel left with life-changing injuries. It is hoped the ten million pound centre based at Catterick Garrison will give the injured and their families new hope as they adjust to life after the forces. Jon Hill reports.
The first family to use a new centre aimed at helping wounded service personnel and veterans, have praised the change it has made to their lives.The Phoenix House Recovery Centre run by the charity Help for Heroes, has officially opened at Catterick Garrison.
The £10.7m centre will provide long-term care for veterans and serving personnel.
Gaz Golightly's career as a vehicle specialist in the Royal Logistic Corps ended less than a year after it started when he lost a leg following a hit-and-run car crash while returning to barracks in Wiltshire in 2002.
It's amazing how much our home life has improved with Gaz coming to Phoenix House. It's a big thing for us.He never used to take the girls out on his own and did not speak to anybody, she said.He's now talking to people, even in the street, and will take the children out on his own.
– Denise Golightly, Gaz's wie
Today everyone who has supported the charity - from donating £2 for a wristband to taking part in a challenge or giving professional time and experience - can see just how much they have helped to achieve.
– Bryn Parry, the co-founder of Help for Heroes
The centre is the first in the north of England - there are four others elsewhere in the UK.The demands on the the recovery centres are expected to grow in the coming years as thousands of service personnel are forced to make a new life in Civvy Street because of defence cuts.
The widow of Private Gregg Stone is setting off on a sponsored walk today from Catterick to Warminster, alongside six other soldiers from Gregg's regiment,. Private Stone was killed last year while trying to rescue an Afghan Policeman. She talked about her plans recently on Calendar