FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER
BRITISH FACILITY FOR UNITED KINGDOM MILITARY FAMILIES
Collaboration with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity
and Help for Heroes Draws Support from Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street
New York, NY & London, England (January 27, 2011) – Fisher House Foundation, which constructs comfort homes to provide free, temporary housing to the families of service members receiving medical care at VA and military hospitals around the world, in collaboration with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and UK charity Help for Heroes, today announced it would construct its first-ever facility in the United Kingdom, to serve the families of British military members receiving medical care there.
This is the first time Fisher House has constructed a house in the United Kingdom and represents its first collaboration with a sister charity outside the United States.
Fisher House at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham will be a home away from home where wounded troops can spend time away from the hospital with their families, friends and colleagues.
The approximately $4 million, two-story structure will be constructed on the grounds of the medical complex and sit just a short walk from the hospital. It was designed by Birmingham-based Glenn Howells Architects to complement the surrounding buildings.
A ground-breaking is set for April 2012 and construction is scheduled to complete in early 2013.
“This is a great day for Fisher House, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and Help for Heroes, and it honors the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman & CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “For more than two decades, we have built Fisher Houses to serve American military families in their time of great need. We’re proud to now help bring this same model of compassion and caring to Britain, whose military families make the same sacrifices, bear the same burdens and need the same support as American military families. We look forward to the day this house opens to begin its much-needed work.”
The Fisher House – similar to the more than 55 already in operation in the United States – will consist of large common kitchen, living and dining areas, with bedroom wings accommodating 18 bedroom suites, situated on either side. Outside will be a private garden with space for children to play in and guest parking.
“The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the receiving hospital for all the UK’s military patients who are wounded or injured anywhere in the world,” said Mike Hammond, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity has played an important role in providing additional equipment, care and welfare to the military patients in the hospital, but until now has not focused on the families who travel many miles, and often from abroad, to be by their loved ones bedsides. We are therefore thrilled to launch the Fisher House for military patients and their families.”
“We are delighted to be supporting our wounded and their families, working in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and Fisher House Foundation,” said Bryn Parry, Co-founder of Help for Heroes. “This project is key to helping our heroes on their road to recovery. Since the charity started, we have seen a clear demand for Fisher House and know how important it is for families to be near loved ones during times of distress when support is so greatly needed.”
About Fisher House
Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. The Fisher Houses are 5,000 to 16,800 square-foot homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs, where families can stay while a loved one is receiving treatment. Additionally, the Foundation ensures that families of service men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.
Located in close proximity to the medical center or hospital it serves, each Fisher House consists of between 8 and 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room and an inviting living room with a library and toys for children. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is no fee to stay in a Fisher House. Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $182 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. To date, Hero Miles has provided over 26,000 airline tickets to our military and their families. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
About Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity is the official charity of the Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospitals, funding equipment, research and facilities to benefit patients which aren’t provided as standard by the NHS. (www.qehb.org)
About Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes was founded by Bryn and Emma Parry in October 2007 out of a desire to help the wounded Servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The message of the charity is simple: we are strictly non-political and non-critical; we simple want to help. We believe that anyone who volunteers to serve in time of war, knowing that they may risk all, is a hero. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things and some of them are living with the consequences of their service for life. We may not be able to prevent our soldiers from being wounded, but together we can help them get better.
About Glenn Howells Architects
Glenn Howells Architects was established in 1990 and has built a strong reputation as one of the foremost design-led architectural practices in the UK. With offices in Birmingham and London, the work of the practice is based on clarity of vision and innovative use of materials. The practice is appointed as master planner for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital retained estate. (www.glennhowells.co.uk
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