Catterick Garrison veteran’s recovery centre to remain closed for ‘foreseeable future’

Phoenix House in Catterick Garrison.

Help for Heroes has announced its recovery centre in Catterick Garrison will be closed for the “foreseeable future” with the charity announcing that 142 jobs across the country are at risk.

The charity said it had taken the “difficult decision” not to operate from Phoenix House as part of a major restructure prompted by the “devastating financial impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charity announced in April that the Catterick recovery centre would close temporarily due to the crisis.

The charity says it will now focus on face to face community and digital services, meaning they will not be operating out of three of their recovery centres for the foreseeable future, with Colchester and Plymouth also set to remain closed.

The charity said 97 per cent of its income came from donations but this had reduced hugely over recent months with all planned face-to-face fundraising events and activities since April either cancelled or postponed.

Charity bosses say they are also anticipating a 30 per cent reduction in Help for Heroes regular income over the coming years with the ongoing economic recession.

This loss of income, coupled with a significant surge in demand for its recovery services during the height of the pandemic, means they have had no choice but to review their  service delivery and put 142 staff roles at risk, bosses say.

Melanie Waters, CEO, said the decision was extremely tough but they had a responsibility to ensure that the support promised to the men and women who suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses as a result of their service could continue against the backdrop of the pandemic.

She said: “In 2007, we made a promise on behalf of the nation to provide lifetime support to wounded veterans, and their families, and we are striving to keep that promise.

The crisis has had a devastating impact on the whole UK charity sector, with lasting consequences, and it has hit us hard. These tough decisions have been made to protect the future of the charity and have been taken with our beneficiaries in mind.

“We remain absolutely committed to our wounded and their families and will continue fighting for, and changing the lives of, those we support for as long as they need it.”

Help for Heroes added in a statement: “We will be returning to centre-based services in a Covid-secure environment from Tedworth House over the coming months and we are also working to reopen our community office in Wales.

“We are also building our new Community Rehabilitation Teams from October, which will initially increase the number of staff we have working on the ground in the North, South, East and West of England, and in Wales.

“We were quick to adapt our support in March, despite having to furlough nearly 40 per cent of staff for up to seven months.

“We have continued to deliver virtual and remote support through our fellowship, welfare, clinical, grants and psychological wellbeing services ever since. We will continue to provide our world class recovery support to those who need it.”

2 Comments

  1. What a shocker, H4H is supposed to be supporting all UK Veterans yet in this statement it clearly sets out the areas they are covering & this admits something that Scottish veterans have known for years we are not on an equal support with the rest of the UK. We have world class sporting facilities up here but at not exactly cheap cost we have had to travel down to very run down and not exactly disabled friendly facilities to take part in events/trg camps for Invictus. Of the recovery centres None rpt None are in Scotland. For a better support regardless of where in the UK you live try the Veterans Charity & Blesma & the Not Forgotten Assoc

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