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Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 09:32 UK
Helping heroes at Headley Court
Headley Court
Headley Court in Surrey houses a Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre

The Wiltshire charity, Help for Heroes, based in Tidworth was set up by ex-soldier, Bryan Parry and his wife Amanda in 2007.

As a result of ongoing conflicts in Irag and Afghanistan, the charity was designed to help wounded British servicemen and women, and assist in their care and rehabilitation.

Through a succession of fund-raising projects, the charity has raised over £50m during its three year existence.

Recently, the charity raised £8m towards the building of a swimming pool and gym complex at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in Headley, Surrey.

The new rehabilitation complex was officially opened by Prince William on June 4, 2010.

Some of the facilities in the new complex include a cardiovascular gym, and a state-of-the-art aqua jogger, which allows patients to run in water, taking the weight of joint and muscles, allowing them to build up their muscles safely and gradually.

Following the opening of the new complex, Help for Heroes founder Bryan Parry said: "This complex was our first task but we are far from finished yet.

To date over £53 million has been raised and every penny of that has been spent or allocated for projects that aim to ensure that our wounded heroes get the very best.

"We can promise you that as long as our wonderful supporters continue to work hard to raise money, we at H4H will make sure it is spent to improve the lives of our wounded boys and girls."

Prince William at Headley Court
Prince William officially opened the rehabilitation complex in June

Headley Court, situated near Epsom, was an Elizabethan farm house which was bought by the Chairman of the Bank of England, Lord Cunliffe, in the early 1900s, who turned it into an imposing mansion.

During World War II, it was used as the headquarters for the Canadian Forces in Europe, and since then, it has been used as a Royal Air Force and Joint Services medical rehabilitation centre.

The building was purchased after World War Two, with money from the Royal Air Force Pilots and Crews Fund - a public collection as a tribute to the deeds of the RAF.

Headley Court is now the Defence Services Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), which aims to return all those service personnel injured or seriously ill to full fitness.

The centre deals with patients with new physical disabilities as well as patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

There is a rehabilitation staff of around 200 military and civilian who provide care for 6,500 patients a year.

Staff come from all three military services' medical and nursing branches which provide specialist medical officers, nurses, remedial instructors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, a cognitive therapist, social workers, engineers, and administration support staff.

The rehabilitation areas of the unit consist of hydrotherapy pools, gymnasiums, and workshops for prosthetics.

One particular area, the Peter Long unit is an in-patient care facility split between two wards offering 66 inpatient beds to injured service personnel from all service disciplines under going rehabilitation at DMRC Headley Court.

There is internet access on the ward, as well as a kitchen area with washing and drying facilities for clothing. A hospital annex is currently being built to house 30 more beds.

There is a small shop on the accommodation site that provides all the daily needs, and the DELC (Defence Electronic Learning Centre) offers internet access during office hours.

The location of the unit is another important factor, being in a rural area surrounded by woods. Such a tranquil environment assists in the treatment of patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The multi-disciplinary team of staff at the Headley Court DMRC are dedicated to assisting individuals achieve the greatest independence allowed by their injuries, and once discharged from the facility, lead fulfilling lives.

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