Dorset

Dorset lodge for injured soldiers needs more funds

The Heroes Haven lodge
Image caption The lodge has been completed and is hoped to be on site in Swanage before Christmas

An adapted holiday lodge in Dorset for injured soldiers needs another £30,000 in funding, a charity has said.

Heroes Haven Swanage will open the lodge on 27 April 2012 for disabled Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans.

The project was launched following an email from the mother of amputee soldier Jack Otter, 21, who always enjoyed holidays in the seaside town.

The lodge has been built but funds are still needed for running costs, a landscaped garden and a small vehicle.

'Humbled'

Rifleman Otter, from Second Battalion The Rifles, lost both legs and an arm in an explosion in Afghanistan.

The 41ft by 20ft (12.5m by 6m) timber lodge that sleeps six has extra wide doors for wheelchair access, lowered kitchen worktops and a specially adapted wet room among its features.

It will be open for 50 weeks of the year for injured soldiers and their families.

Following planning permission by Purbeck District Council, the Talbot Village Trust awarded the Heroes Haven Swanage charity with a £30,000 grant.

Steve Churchill, who set up the project, said: "The amount of support we've had is phenomenal, but because of continued running costs we're looking for another £30,000.

"We'd also like a battery-operated vehicle like a golf cart for access into the town."

Mr Churchill, who served in the Royal Navy for 24 years, said Rifleman Otter was "very humbled".

He added: "He can't thank the people enough for all the efforts that means he can come to Swanage again on holiday."

The lodge, still in the workshop, should be installed on site before Christmas.

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