Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Work starts on complex for troops

Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey
Injured soldiers are treated at Headley Court in Surrey

A turf-cutting ceremony has marked the start of work on a new swimming pool and gym complex at a rehabilitation centre for injured troops in Surrey.

Defence Secretary John Hutton cut the turf at Headley Court, in Epsom, joining Bryn Parry, chief executive of the military charity, Help for Heroes.

Mr Hutton thanked the charity for its support for the armed forces and praised the close bond with the public.

"We will do all we can to keep this bond close," he said.

Help for Heroes has raised 8m towards the building of the swimming pool and gym complex.

We are assured that this will be a superb addition to the excellent facilities at Headley Court; a legacy to the nation.
Bryn Parry, Help for Heroes

In addition, the Ministry of Defence will also provide several million pounds and future running costs.

The complex is due to be completed in the next few years.

Mr Hutton said it would be "of huge benefit to the rehabilitation of servicemen and women in future years".

Servicemen at the centre said the new facilities would be hugely beneficial.

Paralympic ambition

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, who lost both his legs when a landmine exploded underneath his vehicle in Afghanistan, said: "It's a great day and it means a lot to all of us.

The 24-year-old, from Bessacarr in Doncaster, who served in the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, added: "I am looking forward to using the pool."

Private Derek Derenalagi, 43, who also lost both his legs in a similar incident in Helmand Province last July, said he hoped it would help him achieve his ambition to compete in the next Paralympic Games.

Mr Parry added: "I am delighted that work can now begin on this project and we are assured that this will be a superb addition to the excellent facilities at Headley Court; a legacy to the nation."



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Surrey Advertiser Headley Court pool and gym complex under way - 14 hrs ago
The Sun Work starts on Heroes 8m gym - 20 hrs ago
Rye and Battle Observer Work starts on rehabilitation centre for injured troops - 37 hrs ago
Wakefield Express Work starts on rehabilitation centre for injured troops - 40 hrs ago



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