About Us > Our History
Care for Veterans is a remarkable institution with an inspiring history. When casualties in the First World War reached appalling numbers, the home was founded to care for those who were permanently disabled. The vision of Gladys Marchioness of Ripon, The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home was founded in 1919 in Roehampton through the generosity of the Charrington family.
In an outstanding story of voluntary effort, people from all walks of life rallied round to help, including the Royal family and, in particular, Mrs Verena Hay, who devoted over 20 years of her life to bringing her friend Lady Ripon’s vision to reality.
New standards of care were established from the outset. Long before the concept of the Welfare State, the Home pioneered medical and social care procedures that are taken for granted today. The first steps in physiotherapy and occupational therapy were followed by helping the residents to re-train and to find employment.
‘I have been impressed and awed by the achievements of Care for Veterans and spoke of their contribution in Parliament. My many visits to the Hospital Home are rewarded by the sense of peace, purpose and most of all the dignity that the residents have.’ Sir Peter Bottomley, MP
In 1934, when the lease of Gifford House was up, the charity moved from Roehampton to Worthing, and made its permanent home there. Each year it provides care and rehabilitation to more than 100 physically disabled ex-Servicemen and women and their dependents. With 60 beds, a physiotherapy suite, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, it can offer long-term and respite care. Most importantly, it can improve the lives of veterans living with severe physical disabilities or neurological conditions.