Dame Barbara Windsor visit's Legion funded QVSR, homeless charity, refurbishment

Barbara Windsor visits veterans homeless charity to celebrate refurbishment

Dame Barbara Windsor visits ex-servicemen staying at homeless charity that provides shelter to around 170 people, both serving and veterans.

Celebrating its 175th anniversary year, the Queen Victoria Seamen's Rest (QVSR) is coming to the end of an extensive refurbishment programme. The Royal British Legion provided a £50,000 grant last year to part-fund the renovation of the bedrooms.
"The new bedrooms that the Legion has helped to pay for look fantastic, which is just what our veterans deserve." Dame Barbara Windsor

In her role as a Royal British Legion ambassador, Dame Barbara visited QVSR to meet some of the residents and see the on-going works.

Dame Barbara Windsor visit's Legion funded QVSR, homeless charity, refurbishment

Dame Barbara gets hands on with the refurbishment work.

Dame Barbara said: “In an area that’s close to my heart, the East End, I’m delighted to support QVSR. They are offering a home to those who’ve served our country and find themselves in hard times. The new bedrooms that the Legion has helped to pay for look fantastic, which is just what our veterans deserve

"This is a place where you can get back on your feet and work towards something." David Waymark

During her visit, Dame Barbara met with David Waymark, who served in the Scots Guards and is one of the 34 veterans staying at the home.

David said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet Barbara. I hope she can help to shine a light on the fantastic work that QVSR are doing and the help they’re giving to people like me.

Dame Barbara and Alexander Campbell standing at the entrance to Queen Victoria Seamen's Rest.

“After leaving the Army I experienced homelessness several times and battled a number of health issues. I underwent spinal surgery following an accident whilst working at a garden centre which left me with severe mobility difficulties. I moved to QVSR in 2010, they've supported and helped me and are like a family to me.

“Having lived here for almost 8 years, I think I speak for all QVSR’s residents when I say that the new facilities are excellent and very welcome. This is a place where you can get back on your feet and work towards something.”

"By taking on our refurbishment programme, we have ensured that we can offer the best possible service to our beneficiaries." Alexander Campbell, CEO of QVSR

The charity’s CEO, Alexander Campbell, emphasised the importance of modernisation in delivering support to former seamen and veterans.

“We are delighted to welcome Dame Barbara back to share in an important milestone for QVSR. In recent years, we have seriously considered the charity’s position and we know that there is a strong need for our support, particularly here in the nation’s capital.

"By taking on our refurbishment programme, we have ensured that we can offer the best possible service to our beneficiaries. We are incredibly grateful to the Legion and our many other benefactors for enabling us to continue providing a home to those in need.”

Dame Barbara and Alexander Campbell hold the certificate signed by HRH Princess Alexandria.

During the visit Alexander Campbell was able to present Dame Barbara with a certificate signed by QVSR’s patron HRH Princess Alexandra recognising the support she has given QVSR.

Steve Baynes, the Legion’s Head of External Grants, said: “It’s important for us to work in partnership with specialist organisations like QVSR to maximise our impact among the Armed Forces community that we serve. Each year, the Legion grants around £3.4 million to external organisations who are offering vital services to our Armed Forces Community all over the world.”

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