This week, the Sussex-based veterans’ charity is celebrating the arrival of its new sustainably-powered mini ambulance, funded entirely by its supporters.
The vehicle is powered using electricity generated from solar panels installed last year at Care for Veterans, a charity which provides care and rehabilitation to ex-service personnel from its 60-bed facility on Boundary Road, Worthing. Current residents are aged between 34 and 96 years old and the majority have Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or a degenerative neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s.
The electric-powered ambulance is the next step in the charity’s project to reduce its environmental impact as it replaces an old and unreliable diesel vehicle. The fully wheelchair-accessible ambulance is used to transport residents to hospital and other appointments, as well as for admissions and discharges.
The new mode of transport has been funded by donations from Rampion Community Benefit Fund, Sussex Community Foundation, Aldershot Church of England Services, BAE Systems and Brotherwood Automobility Limited.
Matthew Li, Registered Manager at Care for Veterans, said: “This new electric-powered ambulance is the next phase of our ‘green’ project and will provide wheelchair users with a smooth, jolt-free and near-silent ride. Using a quieter vehicle is really beneficial for our residents with a brain injury as this often causes increased sensitivity to noise.
“There is also the added benefit of saving money on fuel costs as it will use the energy generated by our solar panels, which have already saved us £13,000 on bills since they were installed last year. By reducing our running costs, we can spend more on the care and rehabilitation we provide to our resident veterans. We are thrilled to have our new mini-ambulance and incredibly grateful to our sponsors who made it possible. Thank you from everyone at Care for Veterans.”
Site Director for BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems sector in Rochester, Dave Banks, said: “We are extremely proud to support Care for Veterans through our Community Impact program, and the arrival of their new electric powered ambulance is great news. As a passionate supporter of veteran causes and provider of electric propulsion systems, it is fantastic to partner with organisations that are delivering sustainable support to our veterans.”
Since 1919, Care for Veterans has provided the highest possible standard of care and rehabilitation to disabled ex-Service personnel and their families. It provides services such as nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy to help rehabilitate those who live there to live more independent lives. As an independent provider, the charity can fill the gaps often found between healthcare and social services.
The charity receives no regular Government funding and must raise £1.9 million each year to maintain its nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-Service personnel.