A Royal Navy sailor prepares the ropes at first light. HMS Medway arrives in Jacksonville, Florida for a scheduled maintenance period

Veteran Aware recognition for the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society

The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society has been formally recognised as Veteran Aware by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

The society, which is based at Weston Acres Estate, near Banstead, Surrey, has been providing housing, residential and nursing care to former seafarers, their widows and dependants for more than 150 years.

It is the second care home to receive the Veteran Aware accreditation from the VCHA, which is a group of NHS healthcare providers in England committed to providing the best standards of care for the Armed Forces community.

The award means the Society has signed up to the ethos of the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a guarantee by the nation that those who serve, or who have served, in the Armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. 

The aim is to develop, share and drive the implementation of best practice that will improve armed forces veterans’ care.

Professor Tim Briggs CBE, NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement in NHS England, VCHA National Lead and Honorary Colonel of 202 Midlands Field Hospital, said:

“Veteran Aware accreditation means that The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society has made a huge commitment to the service men and women of this country. They should be very proud of the efforts they’ve made; I know I am. Thank you for the work you’ve all put in, despite the undoubted pressures I know you will be under at the moment.”

Chief Executive of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt OBE Royal Navy, said:

“All of us at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society are proud to have been awarded the VCHA Veteran Aware accreditation, in recognition of the work we do to support and care for veterans at our home in Banstead, Surrey. “We have cared for former seafarers and their dependents for more than 150 years, creating a home from sea for our residents and tenants in their later years. From the specialist maritime acquaint training we run for staff, to the features and décor in the home itself, we focus on ensuring the service and commitments our residents have made to this country are recognised and celebrated, and are happy to see this reflected with this accreditation.”