New flat opens at SSAFA Norton House to support Forces families
MP for Epsom and Ewell, Rt Hon, Chris Grayling, today opened a new self-contained flat with full disabled access in SSAFA’s Norton House at Headley Court.
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MP for Epsom and Ewell, Rt Hon, Chris Grayling, today opened a new self-contained flat with full disabled access at SSAFA’s Norton House, Ashtead, providing urgently needed accommodation for Service personnel undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at Headley Court.
Norton House Ashtead has been a ‘home away from home’ since 2008, offering over 1,500 families and friends of injured serving personnel the opportunity to stay close to their loved ones whilst they are treated at Headley Court.
Mike Turner, Manager of Norton House Ashtead says,
“The new flat will be a vital part of the support we offer injured and sick personnel and has allowed us to extend our offering to those Service personnel without family support, for example, Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers.
“The flat will allow them to ‘stay away’ from the medical environment until they can move into their own home and will also offer the Occupational Therapy Team at Headley Court a place where they can see how individual Service personnel cope living independently, whilst having the support structure of SSAFA close at hand, should they need it.
“Of course, the flat will still be offered to families and friends of injured personnel, should they need it and if it is available.”
The project which saw the home’s cinema room being converted to the flat, was fully funded and project managed by MODern Housing Solutions and its parent companies, Carillion and Enterprise.
Richard Lumby, Executive Director MODern Housing Solutions comments,
“MODern Housing Solutions is delighted to have created this new flat for SSAFA Norton House. We work with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to provide a best-in-class housing maintenance service to Service families living in 45,000 properties in England and Wales. Indeed, it is through this work that we get to see first hand why facilities like Norton House can make such a positive difference. We pride ourselves on our community project work and in the value that we feel it brings to the wider Armed Forces community.”
The opening was attended by Service personnel who will be eligible to use the flat as well as friends and family of current patients undergoing treatment at Headley Court. Chris Grayling, who has been an ardent supporter of the home since its opening in 2008 spent time with the families and personnel and later said,
"There is rightly a big focus on those members who are serving in the armed forces, but we should also remember the pressures and challenges families face when dealing with the consequences of those who return from action. Facilities like these are really important part of supporting the families during rehabilitation".
SSAFA’s Chief Executive Air Vice-Marshal, David Murray, finished proceedings by commenting,
“Today’s opening proves just how important SSAFA’s work continues to be. We have made a promise to be there for our Armed Forces for life and this new flat will give injured and sick personnel the tools they need to embark on the next stage of their lives, safe in the knowledge that we are there, should they need us.
“On behalf of SSAFA, I would like to say thank you to MODern Housing Solutions, without their support and hard work this project would not have been possible. They have and will continue to make a huge difference to the lives of our Armed Forces and for that we are hugely grateful.”