The funding, raised from LIBOR fines, will go to the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest (QVSR) Veterans Accommodation & Support Pathway which has provided accommodation and welfare services to seafarers since 1843 and, more recently, the Army and RAF too.
In the last seven years it has provided accommodation for 149 men at its London base in East India Dock. The £300,000 provided by the government will enable QVSR to build nine en-suite bedrooms for single, homeless ex-servicemen. It will fund the third phase of a broader refurbishment programme beginning in June that, once completed, will see a further 27 en-suite bedrooms provided.
The Prime Minister said:
Our brave Armed Forces play a vital role in helping to keep our country safe and we owe them a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families make. That’s why this government enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law to make sure that wherever we can help them, we will.
This funding will provide much needed shelter for veterans who find themselves homeless. They have served their country and it is our duty to support them when they leave the Armed Forces and do all we can to take care of them in times of difficulty.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:
Our Armed Forces and their families make a tremendous contribution and huge sacrifice through their service. They therefore deserve the very best support. That’s why this Government enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law - veterans should not suffer any disadvantage as a result of their service.
We have a particular duty of care for the small number of veterans who do fall on hard times and this £300,000 investment will make a real difference to the lives of those who find themselves homeless and in need of accommodation.
The government’s pledge to uphold the principles of the Covenant was enshrined in law in 2011 and sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the Armed Forces. It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.
QVSR works closely with, and accepts referrals from, Veterans Aid, SSAFA, The Royal British Legion, and SPACES as well as other outreach organisations. At QVSR, veterans also have access to 24-hour support including access to four welfare assistants.
Alexander Campbell, QVSR’s Chief Executive, said:
We are delighted to receive this funding, which will make a real difference to the veterans who find themselves homeless and in need of accommodation.
The £300,000 funding will allow QVSR to create nine quality, en-suite rooms exclusively for veterans. QVSR is fully committed to doing all it can to support veterans and we very much view our contribution as part of a team of veterans charities working together to support and help veterans in their hour of need.