HRH Prince Charles Joins Fisher House Foundation to Dedicate First-Ever British Facility for UK Military Families

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New Fisher House in Birmingham, UK will Serve British Military Families Under Same Model as American Fisher House Program.

Tammy Fisher, trustee of Fisher House Foundation, with Mike Hammond, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, and HRH Prince Charles officially dedicate the new Fisher House UK in Birmingham, UK today. Credit: courtesy Fisher House Foundation.

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 families facing their toughest challenges.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles was joined by leadership from Fisher House Foundation, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and Help for Heroes, to officially dedicate the Fisher House UK at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in England today, the first time American-based Fisher House has partnered with a British charity to build a home away from home for wounded warriors and their families.

The two-story property is a short walk from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and will provide a place where the families of British wounded Service Personnel can stay, free of charge, while their loved one receives medical treatment at the hospital.

“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,” said Tammy Fisher, trustee of Fisher House Foundation, who was joined by her daughters Crystal and Brittany at the dedication. “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.”

Since its founding more than 20 years ago by New York City real estate developer and philanthropist Zachary Fisher, Fisher House Foundation has constructed facilities at military hospitals and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the country. In every instance, the homes are built with private funds and gifted to the military or VA upon completion. A special house for the Families of the Fallen was built at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to provide housing for families repatriating the remains of a loved one. Overall, Fisher House has served more than 180,000 military families and saved almost $200 million in lodging and associated costs.

This 18-room Fisher House UK was designed on the same plan as the 60 American Fisher Houses, providing private, handicapped-accessible bedroom/bathroom suites arranged around common kitchen, living room and dining rooms, a laundry facility and a patio. Outside will be a private garden with space for children to play in and guest parking.

Mike Hammond, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, said: “We are very excited to be able to welcome British military families into the Fisher House UK, knowing that this is so desperately needed by those who care for our wounded troops. It is home from home within walking distance of the hospital, and it will allow military patients to get off the wards and spend some time with their families and friends in a relaxing and comfortable environment.”

Bryn Parry, CEO and Co-Founder of Help for Heroes, said: “Families have a hugely important part to play in the recovery process and we recognise how essential it is that they become involved from an early stage. We are delighted to be opening Fisher House UK working in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and Fisher House Foundation. It is important to remember that while the withdrawal from Afghanistan draws closer, the end of medical treatment for those who have suffered life-changing injuries does not and while we celebrate the official opening today, we recognise that this facility needs support for the long term.”

Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

About Fisher House

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.

http://www.fisherhouse.org

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Jody Fisher
Rubenstein Communications
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