Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

Home makeover gives Army veteran new lease of life

20 February 2018

Home makeover gives Army veteran new lease of life

Registered blind Joe Quigley, 79, could not leave hospital until his flat was safe.

When Royal Artillery veteran Joe Quigley was taken into hospital after having a fall at home, he wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to return to his own home. His flat had become so cluttered and dangerous that he would not be able to live there safely, especially with his impaired vision.

Help came in the form of Michelle Turner-Everett, the Divisional Secretary at SSAFA in Southend-On-Sea. Seeing how much Joe wanted to come home to his own four walls, she called upon the local team at Openreach to come and help her work a renovation miracle.

Helping hands from SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and Openreach joined forces to clear, clean and upgrade the flat. Within two weeks of hard grafting, the taskforce had accomplished their mission and created a safe and tidy environment where Joe could live and freely move about without fear of falling over clutter again.

Joe is now back in his own home and has expressed his gratitude to Michelle and the Openreach team for their help: “I was afraid I’d never get to come home to my own bed and I am so happy to be back. I want to say thank you to everyone who came along and helped to transform my flat – I can get around safely and it’s much cosier”.

Michelle Turner-Everett, SSAFA Southend said: “When I heard about Joe being stuck in hospital due to such a fixable reason, I knew that we had to help. Luckily the team at Openreach were enthusiastic about sending round plenty of helpers which made the task much easier! Seeing Joe at home where he belongs makes us all very happy. It’s the least we could do for a man who served our country”.

SSAFA is providing ongoing support by helping to organise a cleaner, providing a careline and working with the local social workers to organise assessments for carers to help with Joe’s medication.