The Prince of Wales opened a ‘home from home’ for families of military patients being cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Friday.
After cutting the ribbon he was given a tour of the 18-bedroom Fisher House, the first of its kind in the UK, and chatted to some of the families staying there whilst their loved ones recover at the hospital just a short walk away.
Prince Charles also unveiled a commemorative stone at the special dedication ceremony which celebrated the unique partnership between Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) Charity, Help for Heroes and American charity Fisher House Foundation.
Mike Hammond, Chief Executive of QEHB Charity, said: “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is the receiving hospital for all injured British forces personnel. We have long provided world-class medical care for our troops and now, with the opening of Fisher House, we are able to give the same quality of care and support to their family members.”
Tammy Fisher, trustee of Fisher House Foundation, said: “We are so proud to help dedicate this first-ever British Fisher House in the United Kingdom that will serve our Allies and their families in their time of greatest need.
“Whether we salute the Stars and Stripes or the Union Jack, we all recognize how important it is to have our families around us when times get tough. This Fisher House will be a sanctuary for those who are facing some of their toughest days, and provide a glimpse to a brighter tomorrow.”
The £4.2 million Fisher House offers free accommodation for families and patients, enabling them to spend time together away from the hospital ward. As well as being a haven for families whose loved ones have been injured in current conflicts, the home will also be open to families of those returning for on-going medical treatment at the hospital.
Kelly Gemmell and her family have been staying at Fisher House whilst her husband is being cared for at QEHB.
Kelly said: “Fisher House is amazing. I’ve been bowled over by the support we’ve received from everyone here. It’s wonderful to be able to stay so close to the ward and have the chance to chat to other families in the same position here at the house. When you’ve got to split yourself between your loved one here at the hospital and your family at home, having somewhere like Fisher House to call ‘home’ makes things that little bit easier.”
Fisher House costs £250,000 a year to run. By pledging £25 you can provide a night’s accommodation for a family of a military patient and become a Friend of Fisher House. Please click here to donate.