Type Care homes
Location Solihull, West Midlands, Surbiton, Surrey
Grant amount £10,000
Date March 2015
Website starandgarter.org

How the charity helps veterans

The Royal Star and Garter Homes provide modern, purpose-built specialist facilities to address the need for nursing care in purpose built residential accommodation with exceptional dementia facilities. To date, the Charity has completed construction of two state of the art Care Homes in Solihull and Surbiton. A new home will be open in High Wycombe in 2017.

These modern facilities also enable them to provide care for younger disabled members of the Armed Forces while they are waiting for long-term care arrangements to be put in place. They also provide short term respite breaks to Veterans.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity grant

In March 2015, The Royal Star and Garter Homes received a grant of £10,000, known as the 'Greenwich Hospital Grant', from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. These funds went towards the car of the 26 ex-Royal Navy and ex-Royal Marines residents in The Royal Star and Garter Homes. Of this number, 23 were long-term residents, and three residents received short-term respite care. 

Grahame Young, The Royal Star and Garter Homes beneficiary

Grahame Young entered the Royal Marines in the late 1950s, becoming Acting Lieutenant and subsequently promoted to Lieutenant. Following active service, Grahame moved to the Royal Marines Reserve until health problems (ankylosing spondylitis) meant that he could no longer continue. He has however maintained strong connections with the Royal Marines, has attended annual events and kept in regular contact. Grahame is extremely proud of his time with the Royal Marines.

At the age of 60, Grahame was treated for cancer (and subsequently lymphoedema in his legs) and in 2008, his health deteriorated with the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. After an emergency hospital admission and a short stay in a different care home, Grahame came to live at The Royal Star & Garter Homes in November 2014.

On arrival at the Home in Surbiton, Grahame was very run down. Grahame’s wife Jane says that they both immediately felt the warmth of the welcome from all staff, residents, and volunteers and that this consistency continues to be a key feature for Grahame's day-to-day enjoyment. The excellent design of the Home, facilities, activities and outings, plus good food, are the building blocks which Jane says support this fantastic approach.

Grahame is a regular attendee at the weekly Music Club and other musical activities in the Home and enjoys the quizzes and regular outings organised by the Activities team. Last March, Grahame and Jane both went on a trip to the Shard which, by happy coincidence, was on Grahame's 80th birthday. He recently visited the London Silver Vaults and the Watts Museum in Guildford and also enjoys the organised pub outings and an occasional drive.

The availability of 1:1 daily physiotherapy restored Graham's strength and spirits when he first came into the Home. Unfortunately, a second cancer diagnosis several months later and downhill progression of other medical problems have made his continuous improvement difficult. However, Grahame still finds value in the availability of physiotherapy. In fact, Grahame and Jane have developed a strong rapport with one of the physiotherapists which helps Grahame both physically and mentally. Banter and musical appreciation, combined with constant support regarding his physical needs and addressing issues that can arise with wheelchair use are proving a great help to both Grahame and Jane.

Jane says: “The Royal Star & Garter Homes has allowed me to sleep at night, confident in the knowledge that Grahame is being well looked after." This view is shared by Grahame's daughter who is a Consultant Oncologist and his godson, a retired GP in Aberdeen, who said that, after a visit, he felt Scotland could offer nothing to equal it. For this reason Jane has recommended the Home to others who meet the essential basic criteria.