EX-SOLDIERS from Malvern have spoken out in support of plans to transform a former care home into a rehabilitation centre in the town for former servicemen.
Representatives from Rooftop Housing Group and Heritage Care who are behind the bid to convert Adelaide House in West Malvern, met with residents on Monday evening (July 14) in the village hall to provide an update on the development.
The scheme which was unveiled at the same venue to concerned villagers in May, is to provide temporary residence and support services for upto 12 ex-servicemen and women who suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
On Monday two ex-soldiers declared they were in favour of the project.
One man who introduced himself as Nick but chose not to disclose his last name, said he suffered from PTSD and moved to Malvern for peace and quiet after serving in the Army.
“I came to Malvern after leaving the forces because it is a beautiful place to live,” he said.
“The last thing you want is people coming up to you saying ‘what was it like?’. It is not the sort of thing you sit and talk about with your friends.
“PTSD isn’t necessarily crippling, these people are not dangerous. I have lived here for three years and you have never called the police on me.
“We are people who have seen mankind do their worst and now we have to deal with it, people who want to come back into the normal world and need a bit of help. I didn’t know how to speak to anybody about it and I think what this centre is doing is fantastic.”
Duncan Hedges, who lives on West Malvern Road and has served in Afghanistan, said he would be happy to provide his own voluntary support to the centre if needed.
“I know the people you are talking about here. These guys aren’t basket cases. Some will have small problems some will have big.
“I understand people’s concerns and residents need more information. We need case studies of people at the extreme end to the normal guy who has a few demons in his head. If there is any problems we need to know how to deal with it and who we can contact.”
Residents raised further concerns on the night about whether there was enough for the patients to do in West Malvern to occupy their minds and whether accommodating people with potential drink and drug problems near a pub was safe.
But Tracy Simpson from Heritage Care assured that patients would be coming to the centre voluntarily and those who failed to engage with the support would be reviewed.
David Hannon from Rooftop also presented residents with a ‘neighbourhood charter’ on the night outlining the arrangements for the development work taking place at Adelaide House.