The historic Lord Leycester Hospital, which has provided a home for deserving military personnel and wounded warriors since Elizabethan times, has been awarded £50,000 from the WPH Charitable Trust.

The money will be used towards the renovation of a self-contained home for a wounded warrior within the building, which has stood in the centre of Warwick for the past 700 years.

Founded almost 450 years ago by the Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley, the aim of the hospital was to help ‘Poor and Impotent Persons, not having of their own, to relieve themselves, as shall be hereafter maimed or hurt in the Wars, in the service of the Queen’s Majesty, her heirs and successors . . . ‘

The use of the word Hospital in this context is actually a Tudor word to describe a place of hospitality, refuge and sanctuary off the streets for the poor and deserving.

The flats are lived in by eight Brethren – soldiers, sailors and airmen who have served their country at some time in their lives – and one wounded warrior, John Dawson, a former Guardsman who was shot in the head whilst on duty in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2012.

Heidi Meyer, the Lord Leycester Hospital’s first female Master, said working in partnership with organisations such as SSAFA, Help For Heroes and Blesma, which provide care and support for servicemen and women, the aim is to provide more accommodation for wounded warriors like John in the future.

She said: “Our fundamental charitable mission under the Acts of Parliament of 1571, the year in which the Lord Leycester Hospital was founded, is to provide a sanctuary for soldiers wounded in the service of their country. And there are many soldiers who have suffered from recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for example.

“While local authorities and non-profit groups provide the care, we want to provide a place for these heroes to live amongst other Brothers in arms who understand what it is to lay down their life for fellow soldiers
and country.

“The £50,000 grant from the WPH Charitable Trust is fantastic as it allows us a start to provide the right accommodation for more wounded warriors to join our band of Brothers at the Lord Leycester.

“It is a great way to repay young people like John who have put their lives on the line for their country.”

WPH Charitable Trust provides funding for individuals, groups and organisations which work to prevent, relieve and cure sickness in Coventry and Warwickshire. The Trust provides grants for medical research, buildings, equipment and other forms of medical care for residents of the region. All applications are made via the Trust’s website and are assessed on a quarterly basis.

For further details log on to www.warwickshirehealthcharity.org.uk

Alternatively, applications can be sent by post to: Secretary to the WPH Charitable Trust, c/o Blythe Liggins, Edmund House, Rugby Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 6EL.

John Dawson and Brethren

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