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18 February 2011, 13:43
A holiday home to be used by families of service personnel affected by events in Afghanistan has been opened near Weymouth by the charity Afghan Heroes.
It's hoped it'll be the first of eight such homes around the coast of Britain that will fill a gap in the care of families of the fallen and returning service personnel.
Afghan Heroes was launched in September 2009 by a group of mothers who had all lost sons in Afghanistan and who felt that a specialist charity was needed to support families and service personnel.
Denise Harris, founder of the charity said:
“The new facility will be used by families of the fallen so that they can stick together during their grief. It will also be used by returning service personnel who have suffered trauma and need to find peace and quiet with their loved ones.
“We plan to adapt the holiday home in the future when funds allow so that it is suitable for disabled service personnel. Although there are excellent hospitals and rehabilitation facilities like Headley Court we found there was a need for some families to get away on their own to get their lives back together.
“Thanks to the generosity of the public we have been able to open this first holiday home and it is already being booked by families.
“We are now looking for suitable sites for others around the country and if anyone has a suitable property or can suggest a site we would like to hear from them.”
The base at Weymouth is a Willerby Aspen holiday home that can comfortably accommodate six people in its three bedrooms.
It is in a peaceful location where returning soldiers can spend time with their families after the trauma of war or where grieving families can spend some time together.
Afghan Heroes has set up a regional network of support groups for the families of the fallen throughout the UK with fund-raising initiatives going on throughout the country.
For more information see www.afghanheroes.org.uk