Inspirational collaboration between Help for Heroes, stakeholders, contractors and suppliers keeps charity on track to provide life-enhancing residential support for injured servicemen and women.
Tedworth House in Tidworth, which has been described as a “launch pad to life”, is a major residential project being supported by Help for Heroes working in partnership with MoD, The Royal British Legion, and other services charities, to provide a military recovery centre for 50 residents and countless day users.
The £20m centre opened in February last year for a limited number of residents; and as work continues around them, they aim to reach full occupational capacity in October this year. In charge of bringing this monumental task in on time is Head of Facilities and Project Officer, Ian McFarlane.
“As well as the challenge of getting everything completed by our very short, self-imposed deadline, we need to ensure that we satisfy, as closely as possible, the wishes of our stakeholders,” says Ian. “Our stakeholders come from all areas of life: the 11-year-old schoolboy who ran a marathon to raise money for wounded servicemen and women, senior officers in the military, MOD staff, the families of the wounded; they have all contributed to make the funds available to do this, so their say is incredibly important to us.”
With up to 30-40 main contractors working on site at any one time and at present count over 100 organisations involved in helping to make the centre operational by the deadline date, Ian faces an intense logistical planning and project management test, but one which he relishes.
“It is truly inspiring to work with so many people whose passion it is to raise money to help create this facility. As a serving officer I have known a lot of the servicemen who are now benefitting from the services Help for Heroes provide and to witness the sense of purpose these men and women now inject in to their lives thanks to the help provided, well, I feel truly inspired.”
Once completed, Tedworth House will provide the facilities to support the two key parts of the recovery process; the holistic life skills course and the activities to get the wounded, sick and injured back out doing what they enjoy the most.
“Extending our activities outside Tedworth, we’ll include adventure activities, such as waterskiing, gliding and horse riding. One of the most common wishes of our wounded servicemen and women is to be able to “feel the wind through their hair”, that’s why we want to include adrenaline-fuelled activities for them.”
Above all else, Help for Heroes is about people working in collaboration towards a common goal. Ian says: “We call ourselves Team Tedworth, and we equally include every bricklayer, electrician, contractor, supplier etc who has given their time, service, or products to this cause. Since Bryn Parry formed the charity with his wife Emma, he has encouraged and stamped his vision on all our projects lifting our horizons beyond what most people can dream about achieving.
He had the dream, and has led the way forward to the point where those dreams come true.”
For further information about how you can be a part of making those dreams come true, visit the Help for Heroes website: www.helpforheroes.org.uk.