Ross Kemp cuts ribbon to our Veteran cottages.

Posted on Wed, 26 May 2021

Friday, 21st May 2021 was a momentous day for The Buchanan Trust, with the official opening of our four, newly built Almshouse veteran cottages.

The Trust was delighted to welcome Ross Kemp as the guest of honour, in addition to a diverse mix of dignitaries, business executives and guests, united by one common goal;  to support this nation’s veteran Armed Forces Community.

In attendance of particular note:

  •   Jo Hilditch, the High Sheriff of Herefordshire,
  •   Liz Harvey, Deputy Mayor of Ledbury,
  •   Councillor Barry Durkin, Chair of the Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership,
  •   AVM Mike Smart OBE, Vice Chair of the Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership,
  •   Nick Philips, CEO of the Almshouse Association,
  •   and a vast number of councilors, from members of Herefordshire County Council and Bosbury and Coddington Group Parish Council.

Ross Kemp said: “It’s a great achievement for The Buchanan Trust to have built these stunning cottages during lockdown and it’s a pleasure to be here today to officially open these new homes for our veterans.”

“Robert Buchanan formed the Trust over 100 years ago and I wonder if he was looking down today would he wonder why there is still a need to provide housing for our veterans and what he would think about the fact that organisations still need to come together to offer this support to our ex service personnel.”

Councillor Barry Durkin, Herefordshire Council’s representative for the Armed Forces, said: “We are delighted to provide funding for these four new properties and also providing assistance and support for the important work of The Buchanan Trust in supporting military veterans and their families as they re-integrate into the local community.”   

Robert Buchanan, trustee and direct descendant of the original benefactor, added: “It’s remarkable that the trust today, supports our Armed Forces community as it was first intended back in 1918 when it first started.  The military has evolved over that time but the need to help those who have served our country still remains, so it is important we continue to raise awareness.”   

General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE, Patron of The Buchanan Trust, said: "Since the end of the First World War a century ago The Buchanan Trust has been supporting former soldiers, sailors and airmen with homes, training and work experience to enable them to start new lives, mainly in agriculture and rural jobs, after leaving the Armed Services.  These four new cottages will provide fitting homes to add to our community of military veterans at Bosbury who are being helped by the Trust, and who support each other, in their transition to civilian life."

Sue Missin, Housing Development Manager, Saffer Cooper Consultancy, said: “The delivery of the latest development from The Buchanan Trust is very welcome. The Trustees have worked hard over a number of years with Herefordshire Council, Homes England and others to ensure that these crucial additional residential properties are delivered.”  

Karl Gilmore, trustee and Trust spokesperson for the event, added: "Of cause, being a not-for-profit charity we rely heavily on grant funding, donations, support from businesses and social value enterprises, along with our small army of unwavering volunteers. Without this support, the Trust simply wouldn’t exist, as such, on behalf of the Trust and our veteran beneficiaries, we are truly thankful."

"I would like to draw specific thanks to the extremely generous funding support that was made possible and provided by Herefordshire County Council, Homes England through the Almshouse Consortium and Herefordshire Cathedral.  In addition, thank you to those of you who supported our planning application, the local authority planning department for granting permission for this project and the continued support of the Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership.  Without all of that, we wouldn’t have succeeded."

"Thank you to our principal contractor, Lane Britton Jenkins, who themselves have worked tremendously hard, despite the challenges the pandemic presented, along with all of your sub-contractors. The Trust is delighted with the result, thank you."

"We are also humbled and would like to thank the various businesses that have donated materials and, or their expertise, such as: Alun Griffiths Contractors, Prolectric, George Bence & Sons of Gloucester and Kingspan."

"My final thank you goes to Paula Massey of UMT Upcycling based in Treforest, South Wales, for your continued support and for what you do supporting Veterans in the Valley’s communities. Paula has and continues to provide upcycled furniture, electrical goods and has stocked our kitchens with food for our beneficiaries. Thank you."