Birthday bonanza for Worthing charity Care for Veterans in its centenary year

Among the Care for Veterans team for Worthing 10k were supporters in wheelchairs, Mic Riddy, who was self-propelling, and residents Tony Walker and Steve Boylan
Among the Care for Veterans team for Worthing 10k were supporters in wheelchairs, Mic Riddy, who was self-propelling, and residents Tony Walker and Steve Boylan

Care for Veterans, based in Worthing, has received a centenary gift from a health scheme also celebrating 100 years of operation.

he amazing 100th birthday gift of £20,000 was donated by Westfield Health.

Care for Veterans residents holding a 'thank you' sign in the social and recreation room

Care for Veterans residents holding a 'thank you' sign in the social and recreation room

The hospital home for disabled ex-servicemen and women, in Boundary Road, will use some of the money to purchase specialised mattresses for veterans receiving end-of-life care but the majority of the donation will go towards the social and recreation programme.

Elizabeth Baxter, head of fundraising and marketing at Care for Veterans, said: “We are so grateful to Westfield Health for this amazingly generous donation during our centenary year.

“Our social and recreation programme is vital to the mental wellbeing of our veterans, who go to our recreation room and take part in arts and crafts projects, and various group activities every day.

“They love to participate and the money donated by Westfield Health will also fund some trips out into the local community, which is something that the veterans always look forward to and forms part of their occupational therapy.”

Westfield Health has donated more than £15million to the NHS and health and wellbeing charities since 1996.

Graham Moore, chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to support such a worthy cause. At Westfield Health, we want to make a healthy difference to our communities and providing charitable donations is just one way we do this.

“We hope that our small effort provides an important contribution towards achieving Care for Veterans’ goals.”

Both Care for Veterans and Westfield Health were formed in July 1919, with the company being just six days older that the charity. Care for Veterans was established to care for those returning from World War One with life-changing injuries and disabilities and now operates a 60-bed care and rehabilitation facility.

Elizabeth added: “It is only with the kind support of companies like Westfield Health that we can continue to provide vital and life-changing care and rehabilitation to our disabled veterans, some of whom are facing the toughest battle of their lives.

“The £20,000 is a much-appreciated birthday gift to our charity and will be very well spent on the wonderful veterans in our care. We wish all at Westfield Health all the very best for their centenary year and for the wonderful work they do in communities all over the UK.”

Further support has come from the Care for Veterans team of 104 runners who took part in Worthing 10k. Dubbed the Heroic One Hundred, the team included staff, residents, family members and supporters.

Residents Tony Walker, who was a leading aircraftman in the RAF, and Steve Boylan, a former warrant officer in the Royal Engineers, were pushed around the course in their wheelchairs, while supporter Mic Riddy was self propelling.

Christine Gillott, fundraising officer, had wanted to recruit 100 runners for the centenary year and ran the race herself.

She said: “What a fabulous day at the Worthing 10k. The sun shone, the atmosphere was brilliant, the running was fantastic and the support from the local community was amazing.

“I want to thank everyone who took part to support our veterans. We really do appreciate it and we are delighted that we managed to recruit more than 100 runners to help us celebrate 100 years of caring for our nation’s veterans.”

So far, the runners have pledged more than £10,000 for the charity.