Heroes Haven
Affordable holidays for disabled, injured and visually impaired
serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces

About Heroes Haven Swanage

Heroes Haven Lodge Opening Cermony

Rifleman Jack Otter was the third triple amputee to survive his injuries in Afghanistan and during Jack’s treatment in April 2010 a member of Swanage Carnival committee received an upsetting e-mail from his mother. Further contact and research revealed that there was no suitable holiday accommodation for such heroes and their families in the Purbeck area.
These, now famous, words were said the following evening, “Well, let’s do something about it then”, and so a small group of individuals formed a team and Heroes Haven Swanage was born. Heroes Haven Lodge Opening Cermony

The Charity was set up exclusively to provide bespoke holiday accommodation for disabled serving and ex-military personnel. It was also recognised that the families of such personnel also need some respite from the stresses and strains of caring in an everyday environment.
This purpose built lodge and its surroundings provide such a facility, allowing a truly ‘family‘ holiday.
After further consultation with some Senior Officers, it was also decided that medical personnel within the tri-services should also have access to the lodge, as stress levels, exhaustion and other factors also affect this group.

After much hard work, sleepless nights, wondering if anyone would turn up for ‘the gig’ (anything from a garden veggie sale to a rock concert), hair pulling and chivvying of all those known, and unknown to us, a fantastic sum of £250,000 was raised.

The Charity has been supported by so many different groups, too numerous to name individually, but ranging from a mythical old lady called ‘Mrs Miggins’ to the philanthropic Talbot Village Trust in Bournemouth.

Heroes Haven Lodge arriving on site

The Lodge itself was opened by Rifleman Jack Otter on 27th April 2012. Local MP Richard Drax attended the ceremony, as did a number of service personnel and local contributors.

Whilst the whole facility has been designed with multiple disabilities in mind, particular care was taken in the planning of the garden for those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Plants and flowers were chosen for their therapeutic properties, and avoiding bright reds and oranges. Wide footpaths are provided for wheelchair users, and non-slip surfaces for those not so steady on their feet.
Rails on the walls provide stability for those practising on their ‘stubbies’ or unstable after a few too many in the nearby bar!
A selection of different colours and lighting has been provided with the visually impaired in mind.

The team hopes that the lodge will reach full capacity in the near future. Various magazines such as Soldier, Pathfinder and The Globe and Laurel are all aware of the Charity. Many Welfare Officers from all the services have been kept abreast of developments.
Recent visits from two senior Royal Marine Officers, Limbcare and The Not Forgotten Society, have all concluded that the photographs do not do The Lodge justice, and are all helping to publicise its merits.

Heroes Haven Swanage