£5 million set aside for armed force recovery centre


A RECOVERY centre for members of the armed forces is set to be given a £5million boost from the Royal British Legion to help towards running costs.

The Personnel Recovery Centre (PRC), based in the Erskine’s Mark Wright House in Edinburgh, will receive around £900,000 over the next two years growing to a possible £5million up until 2020.

The MoD facility was named in honour of Corporal Mark Wright (pictured) who died in Afghanistan in 2006 and was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

The PRC can house 12 people and since its opening in 2009 has supported the recovery of 57 soldiers.

Major George Connelly MBE, commanding officer of the Edinburgh PRC, said: “We welcome the significant commitment from The Royal British Legion which, in conjunction with our well established partnership with Erskine, enhances our ability to support the recovery of wounded, injured and sick soldiers.

“Having already supported 57 soldiers through their recovery, we can now continue to offer the bespoke care, educational, training and confidence building opportunities to many more recovering soldiers.”

The PRC Edinburgh was originally established by the Army in partnership with the Scottish Government and the veterans’ charity Erskine.

The Legion took over responsibility for the centre’s running costs on 1 January 2011, with the Army continuing to provide staff.

The money from the Royal British Legion is part of £50 million that is being donated to help care for the wounded, injured and long-term sick Armed Forces personnel – the charity’s largest-ever single funding commitment.

Chris Simpkins, director general of The Royal British Legion, said: “The Personnel Recovery Centres and the Battle Back Centre are central to The Royal British Legion’s support for injured Service men and women, and to our welfare strategy overall.

“We have more than doubled our original grant to the programme in recognition of the significant demand there will sadly be for this kind of care for many years to come.

“The Legion supports serving and ex-Service men and women and their families for the rest of their lives.

“We are delighted to be providing this long-term support for the wonderful work that is being done at PRC Edinburgh to help wounded, injured and sick Service personnel recover – work that is paving the way for the other PRCs to come.”

Mark Wright’s parents, Bob and Jem Wright, set up the a charity, called the Mark Wright Project, following their son’s death. The couple were awarded the Legion’s first Friends of the Forces Community Award in 2010 for their work to help ex-Service men and women and their families overcome the visible and invisible wounds of war and conflict.