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Sadiq Khan opens newly refurbished facility in Limehouse for homeless UK veterans

PUBLISHED: 16:27 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 07 September 2018

Sadiq Khan formally opened the newly refurbished New Belvedere House for homeless UK veterans. Picture: Mayor of London's Press Office.

Sadiq Khan formally opened the newly refurbished New Belvedere House for homeless UK veterans. Picture: Mayor of London's Press Office.

Mayor of London's Press Office

The Mayor of London today opened a newly refurbished and extended short-term residential facility in Limehouse for homeless UK veterans.

New Belvedere House in White Horse Road, which has been operating in Limehouse for 45 years, runs a ‘Welfare to Wellbeing’ programme which helps transform the lives of homeless UK ex-service personnel by offering an immediate route off the streets.

Sadiq Khan is investing £180,000 over three years in the programme, in addition to more than £1.6million provided by City Hall to assist with the £8.2m refurbishment of New Belvedere.

He said: “It is completely unacceptable that anyone in London - including veterans of our armed services - should have to sleep rough.

“The refurbished New Belvedere House will help Veterans Aid continue their invaluable work helping to ensure no UK veteran needs to sleep rough in the capital, and I am pleased to be supporting their unique programme.”

Since opening in 1973, New Belvedere House has been able to provide accommodation for 1,500 veterans who would have otherwise been homeless.

After the re-development it can accommodate 66 residents, and also accepts referrals from all London boroughs and City Hall services via the charity’s London operations centre.

Commenting on his time at the facility, a resident, Craig Mcwha, 48, said: “When you’re sleeping rough, you’re made to feel the lowest of the low, people look at you like your nothing.

“I feel here we matter.”

CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy said: “This is a truly different place, we’ve taken the whole idea of hostel and re-imagined it.”

He added: “There is no need for any veteran to be on the streets.”

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