Mayor of London Sadiq Khan opens New Belvedere House, Veterans Aid. Credit: Greater London Authority

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has thanked BFBS Big Salute fundraisers following a £10,000 grant for Veterans Aid (VA) towards the redevelopment of VA’s flagship residence, New Belvedere House.

“Your contribution, your donation has led to improved facilities here.”

Forces Radio BFBS' Tim Humphries attended the formal opening at the Tower Hamlets’ hostel and spoke to Sadiq Khan who is humbled by the support being offered.

"I'm inspired, I'm humbled and I feel incredibly proud of the support being given to veterans who, let's be frank, have fallen on tough times.

"Our job as a society is to help them and to offer support."

A £10,000 grant by the BFBS Big Salute has given a financial boost to the redevelopment of Veterans Aid’s New Belvedere House.

The charity was awarded the gift earlier this year to help fund two of the additional rooms, as part of a £8.2 million refurbishment and extension of the veterans home.

More from Forces Network: BFBS Big Salute Gives A Boost To The Building Of Military Veterans Home

The BFBS Big Salute is an annual campaign that raises vital funds for armed forces charities.

Veterans Aid has delivered support to former servicemen and women in crisis since 1932 - significantly those leading to homelessness.

New Belvedere House, opened in 1973, has provided accommodation for 1,500 male veterans who would have otherwise been homeless.

Today the charity runs a ‘Welfare to Wellbeing’ programme.

Dr Hugh Milroy, CEO at the charity says veterans’ individual needs are met by this programme.

“Everything we do is needs based. People aren’t fitting into a system, we unfold a system according to them. In the end, what we do, is invest in [the veterans].”  

Meeting the Mayor of London at the formal reception, veterans, Peter and John shared what it now means to them to live in the revamped residence.

“It’s literally the help that people in my situation need, to understand the steps to take in order to move forward.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in room with veteran at New Belvedere House, Veterans Aid
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan meets veteran Peter in one of the new Big Salute rooms

Former servicemen at New Belvedere House can enjoy training kitchens, computer suites, a fitness suite, therapy rooms and unparalleled support in bright, colourful surroundings.

New Belvedere House Veterans Aid room

The latest grants have been funded by the 2016-2017 BFBS Big Salute campaign, thanks to generous donations and sponsored events undertaken by personnel and military communities from across the forces world.

This year, the BFBS Big Salute fundraising pot had additional support from the Services Sound and Vision Corporation’s (SSVC) Board of Trustees.

For more information and ideas about raising money for the Big Salute go online to www.ssvc.com/#bigsalute

Pictures: Greater London Authority

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