News story

Catterick recovery centre up and running

Phoenix House is the newest of the Army-led Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centres which are being built across the country in partnership…

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Phoenix House is the newest of the Army-led Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centres which are being built across the country in partnership with Help for Heroes (H4H) and the Royal British Legion (RBL).

It is set in the heart of Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, and will provide comprehensive support to wounded, injured and sick personnel and their families, for life. Already completed are facilities including temporary residential accommodation, classrooms and catering facilities.

H4H has committed to fund and lead the delivery of the Phoenix House capital build project at a cost of £1.3m for the interim recovery facility.

The money will allow the creation of new accommodation facilities, training facilities, and a state-of-the-art gymnasium. The charity has pledged a further £10.7m for a purpose-built Personnel Recovery and Assessment Centre (PRAC), which will be delivered by early 2013 and will be run by H4H.

Phoenix House’s operating costs, estimated to be £11m over the first ten years, are to be met by H4H, with a very significant contribution from the RBL, who have committed £8.5m.

Additionally, a support hub is being developed. The hub, a collection of welfare agencies and other Service charities will provide a ‘one stop shop’ of advice and support for the residents, veterans and their families, for life.

This centre, within a military environment, will deliver co-ordinated support to recovering personnel from across the Armed Forces.

The MOD, as the lead for recovery, has committed military and civilian personnel to co-ordinate, manage and deliver the Defence Recovery Capability, including staff within each of the Personnel Recovery Centres.

Brigadier Greville Bibby, Commander of 15 (North East) Brigade and York Garrison, said:

I am absolutely delighted that we finally have a facility of this nature. Even though it is an interim measure, it will be of immediate benefit over the next 12 months to those individuals in the North East who require state-of-the-art care to assist their recovery.

“The fantastic thing about this initiative is that everybody involved - the Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion - can now work together through the PRAC to ensure that our personnel have access to the right care, support and resources.

I am much looking forward to the opening of the permanent facility this time next year.

Bryn Parry, Chief Exective Officer and co-founder of H4H, said:

We’ve seen first-hand what a vital difference the first PRAC, Tedworth House in Tidworth, is already making to the lives of our wounded in the south of the country.

We’re delighted that Phoenix House in Catterick is now available in the north where our wounded and their families can access a comprehensive support network and prepare for life outside of the Services.

Help for Heroes are proud to be supporting Phoenix House but it wouldn’t be possible without the support from hundreds of thousands of supportive donors. Phoenix House is firm proof of the support the public feels for its Armed Forces and for that we are thankful.

Chris Simpkins, Director General of the Royal British Legion, said:

The help this Personnel Recovery Centre at Catterick will provide is vitally needed for those who have given so much for our country, and the Legion is delighted to be part of it.

As a charity we have been helping servicemen and women for 90 years and we have a long and deep connection with the garrison at Catterick and with Armed Forces personnel and their families in the area.

Our support for the Personnel Recovery Programme is a key part of our welfare services and at the very heart of our organisation.

Wounded, injured and sick Service personnel deserve nothing less than the best and the Royal British Legion will continue to support them, and their families, for the rest of their lives.

Phoenix House is ideally located as it allows recovering personnel to take advantage of the full range of facilities already available from within the garrison, including welfare, medical, rehabilitation and educational facilities, which are vital in aiding the recovery process.

Phoenix House’s facilities and services will also be open to veterans on a needs basis.

Published 24 October 2011