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Blind Veterans UK to benefit from bankers fines
12:56pm Tuesday 4th February 2014 in News
Millions of pounds in fines levied on City rate-riggers will fund accommodation schemes for thousands of hard-up forces' veterans, Defence Minister Anna Soubry has announced during a visit to Brighton
Up to £40 million from Libor fines imposed on banks will help veterans' charities build new homes, buy new accommodation and spruce up ageing facilities.
Projects are expected to include homeless hostels and half-way houses for veterans who have fallen on hard times, supported housing for the wounded, injured and sick, and care homes.
The announcement was made by Ms Soubry at Blind Veterans UK in Brighton, which has previously received £1 million to refurbish accommodation facilities Partially-sighted former RAF chef John Cunnington, 68, visits the charity's base overlooking the English Channel once a week.
He has taken advantage of facilities there, including archery and an indoor swimming pool, since experiencing sight problems around 15 months ago.
Mr Cunnington, from Polegate, near Eastbourne, said: "The first thing that you learn when you come here is that there are no boundaries.
"When you first come here, you feel like you are boxed in, but the people here show you that you can do whatever you like. It's such a confidence booster."
Blind Veterans UK was founded as St Dunstan's in 1915, and helps blind ex-service men and women overcome the challenges of blindness.
In the past year, around 2,300 veterans have benefited from £35 million handed out to Libor-related projects.
Ms Soubry said: "The men and women of our Armed Forces have served their country with honour and bravery so it is only right that we help meet their housing needs when they have fallen on hard times, been wounded in service or need day-to-day care and support once they have left the Armed Forces.
"I am delighted that we have been able to double the amount we have already invested in projects through the Libor fines."
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