War Memorial Village Derby has been offering disabled war veterans a home for 70 years. The village has started a much-needed renovation programme with the help of a loan from Charity Bank.
Members of the armed forces can face a multitude of difficulties when they return to civilian life. Many have no homes of their own to return to, and have little experience of managing rent, utility bills and other household finances. More than 3,500 veterans are believed to be homeless in the UK today. It can be particularly difficult for disabled veterans to find suitable accommodation.
War Memorial Village Derby offers ex-service personnel affordable, accessible homes. The village was set up in 1949 to help veterans of the Second World War. Some of those original residents still live in the village today, alongside veterans who fought in other conflicts over the last 70 years.
The charity wants to completely revamp the village over the next 20 years. Helped by a Charity Bank loan of £600,000, phase 1 is now almost complete. Six outdated properties have been demolished to make way for nine new one-bedroom homes. The new homes have been specifically designed for disabled veterans. They also incorporate technology such as solar panels and air source heat pumps to help residents save money on running costs.
Veterans sometimes struggle to integrate back into society when they leave the armed forces. At War Memorial Village Derby, neighbours have shared experiences of military life. Residents socialise in the communal gardens and nearby Victory Club. The village is also very much a part of the wider community. The charity organises events that are open to the public, from remembrance services to Christmas fairs. In 2019, War Memorial Village Derby celebrated its 70th anniversary with an open day complete with military displays, live entertainment and a Battle of Britain flyover, as well as a visit by HRH Princess Anne. Thanks to the trustees’ vision for redeveloping the village, more than 50 veterans and their families will be able to call War Memorial Village Derby home for many more years to come.
“We felt as trustees that it was our responsibility to regenerate the village… I’d heard about Charity Bank and decided it was the best option for us as a charity. We met with Peter Hughes from Charity Bank several times to discuss the loan. It’s been so helpful to have one point of contact.”Harvey Jennings, Chair of War Memorial Village Derby
“We’re a village of veterans. When you come out the army, it takes you a long time to settle down. In the village, we’re all service-men – one big happy family. You’ve got the comradeship back.”Micky Doyle, resident and trustee
About Charity Bank
Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.
Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.