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UK and USA join forces for wounded troops and their families

January 27, 2012

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, in partnership with American charity Fisher House Foundation and UK charity Help for Heroes, has launched a new project today to support the UK’s military patients and their families.

Fisher House at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham will be a ‘home from home’ where wounded troops can spend time away from the ward with their families, friends and colleagues.

The purpose-built two-storey property, which will be a short walk from the hospital, is being developed thanks to generous support from BRMB and everyone who took part in its Walkathon. Nearly 8,000 stepped out to help military patients and their families, raising over £405,000.

Catering for people of all abilities, the home will be a largely open plan property with wide connecting corridors and wheelchair accessible lifts. There will be 18 en-suite bedrooms for families of patients to stay in as well as communal living facilities including a family room and play area, lounge, kitchen, dining areas and laundry room. Outside will be a private garden with space for children to play in and guest parking.

Mike Hammond said: “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity has played an important role in providing additional equipment, care and welfare to the military patients in the hospital. We are thrilled to now also be able to support patients’ families with the launch of the Fisher House today.

“The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the primary receiving unit for all injured British military personnel and so families can travel many miles to be with their loved one. The Fisher House will be a ‘home from home’ for families to stay in at a very difficult and stressful time. We would like to thank Fisher House Foundation, Help for Heroes and BRMB and all its listeners for their support.”

“This is a great day not only for Fisher House and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital but for the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “For more than two decades, we have built Fisher Houses to serve American military families in their time of great need. We’re proud to now help bring this same model of compassion and caring to Britain, whose military families make the same sacrifices, bear the same burdens and need the same support as American military families. We look forward to the day this house opens to begin its much-needed work.”

Bryn Parry, Co-founder of Help for Heroes, said: “We are delighted to be supporting our wounded and their families, working in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and Fisher House Foundation. This project is key to helping our heroes on their road to recovery.  Since the charity started, we have seen a clear demand for Fisher House and know how important it is for families to be near loved ones during times of distress when support is so greatly needed.”

Col Kevin Beaton OBE, Commanding Officer, said: “The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine is proud to support the launch of Fisher House project. It will enhance the overall welfare package that we deliver to injured service personnel and their families whilst they receive treatment. The ‘Patient group’ are the most important people at the RCDM and it is our privilege to be entrusted with their care and support on behalf of an indebted nation. They are our main effort.”  

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity is very grateful for the generous grants from Fisher House Foundation and Help for Heroes. Fisher House Foundation has awarded a grant of US$2m to the project, the first time it has supported a project outside of US soil. Help for Heroes has awarded a £1.5m grant, and has already confirmed a further £50,000 per year for the ongoing running costs. In total, the Fisher House will cost in the region of £4.2m.

Construction of the Fisher House is due to start in April with completion anticipated in early 2013.

To make a donation to support the Fisher House please click on the pink ‘Donate’ button to the left.

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