Queen Opens New Care Facility For Veterans

Her Majesty The Queen has officially opened a new care facility for veterans in Kent.

Appleton Lodge, the new facility, is part of a special village that includes a housing project for former service personnel and their families.

It will provide healthcare to 15 residents, as well as offering daycare for locals in need of help.

Her Majesty was welcomed to the village by John Ahben who served in the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

He performed a traditional Fijian greeting and then showed the Queen his work as a gardener.

Mr Ahben left the Armed Forces following an accident which left him with severe head injuries.

"It means a lot," Mr Ahben said.

"For other veterans out there as well, having a look at this... [having] somewhere to go and things to do that are part of the Army."

John Ahben showed the Queen his work in the garden.
John Ahben showed the Queen his work in the garden.

The Centenary Village, which includes 24 specially adapted apartments for wounded veterans, is run by the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI).

Appleton Lodge is the latest part of the village's development.

"Words can't describe it," said veteran and resident George Bradford.

"To give up her [the Queen's] time to come down here to do this... really is a great credit."

The Queen helped bury the time capsule.
The Queen helped bury the time capsule.

The Queen also helped bury a time capsule which marked the beginning of the project's new stage.

The capsule also celebrated the centenary of RBLI.

It was buried with leaflets and stories of veterans, certificates and a letter from Buckingham Palace.

When complete, the latest phase of the village will have a further 22 apartments, 18 family homes and 24 assisted living apartments.

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