November 24, 2016
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended an informal reception at the Guards Museum hosted by Veterans Aid.

Earlier this year The Duke of Edinburgh became the first official visitor to the frontline charity’s newly transformed Old Rectory where veterans moving from single room accommodation in its main hostel prepare for life with more autonomy and responsibility.

Nearly six months later His Royal Highness was able to catch up with staff and residents who had reaped the benefits of the on-going refurbishment project and learn about its progress.

CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy said, “The redevelopment of our New Belvedere House hostel was driven by necessity but it provided an opportunity to build on a successful model and set a standard that will change the way people think about hostels for the homeless. The months spent at ‘NBH’ are life changing for the men who make it their temporary home and we are delighted by the interest HRH has shown in our activities.”

On arrival at the reception The Duke was presented to VA’s Patron, The Dowager Viscountess Rothermere, Guards Museum Curator and Veterans Aid Trustee Mr Andrew Wallis and the charity’s Honorary Life President, Brigadier Johnny Rickett.

Last year Veterans Aid provided 22,000 nights of accommodation for ex-servicemen and women in crisis, dealt with 389 new clients and found appropriate housing for 184.

Typically the cost of caring for one veteran in VA’s hostel is £8,500 a year with a further £1,600 spent on sourcing and furnishing a sustainable new home.

Dr Milroy added, “Homelessness is only one of many problems that bring ex-servicemen and women to our door and in almost every case the underlying cause is complex. The enduring interest demonstrated by His Royal Highness in our activities and our veterans has been heart-warming.”

EDITORS NOTE: For more information about Veterans Aid see or contact Glyn Strong on or 0044 7806 920087.

  • In 2014 The Centre for Social Justice commended Veterans Aid’s unique Welfare to Wellbeing© pathway as a model to others in the sector.
  • In 2015 Veterans Aid recorded a 92 per cent success rate based on clients still thriving after six months.
  • In 2016 the charity saw the first stage of its hostel refurbishment completed. For more information about how to support this on-going campaign see: