Ceremony Marks Start of Work on Holiday Apartments
Published: 09 Jun 2015
Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson, Chairman of the RAF Charitable Trust, is pictured joining Paul Hughesden of the RAF Benevolent Fund for a turf-cutting ceremony at Princess Marina House in Rustington, West Sussex.
Six months ago, the RAF Benevolent Fund launched a campaign to raise £360,000 to convert an existing wing of Princess Marina House into two apartments. More than £320,000 has already been raised, with generous support from the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the April Fools Club's Falklands Yomp, the RAF Central Fund and many smaller donors.
The turf-cutting marked the start of work on the new apartments, complementing two existing properties which are available for use as a retreat by RAF service families. The new self-contained apartments will be in a converted area of Princess Marina House, the Benevolent Fund's respite home for RAF veterans and their adult dependants, and will provide one two-bedroom and one three-bedroom property, with glorious sea views and beach access which can accommodate disabled personnel.
It is forecast that the two new apartments will allow a further 104 families each year to take a one-week break.
Sir Kevin said: "These fantastic apartments will provide double the capacity of the current holiday cottages, which have proved so popular with RAF families, and we are delighted to be supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund."
Shirley Steeples, General Manager of Princess Marina House, added: "We have so many applications from families who would benefit from a seaside break, including those with ill or disabled children, partners with serious illnesses or RAF personnel recovering from injury. With two new apartments we'll be better placed to meet the extraordinary and growing demand we've seen over the past few years, and hope to welcome our first families in time for Christmas 2015."