On 28 June 2017, the SSAFA run Norton House – Selly Oak closed its doors to new guests, after being a safe haven for families of injured Armed Forces Personnel over the past 8 years. Welfare Officers from the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) were invited to the closing ceremony, having worked very closely with SSAFA to support the families at Norton House.

Norton House – Selly Oak was opened in February 2009 and has been a ‘home from home’ for families of injured service personnel receiving treatment at near-by Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Over the years many Armed Forces patients have benefitted from having family nearby to aid their recovery. Equally, family of wounded personnel who stayed at the house received practical and emotional support from SSAFA and other organisations such as DMWS.

Our Welfare Officer Lorraine Irvine recalls: “I supported families of serving personnel returning from Afghanistan often with life changing injuries. We were often the first point of contact for families coming to visit their loved ones and worked alongside Military Liaison Officers, Nursing Staff, SSAFA to ensure the best possible support for families and the patients. We offered practical and emotional support to ensure no family had to go through the worry of injury alone."

Our service is tailored to the individual needs of the patient and their family. Some of the ways we can help include a confidential listening ear, practical assistance and accompanying visits to appointments. We work with patients when their medical needs are met but when other issues may distract from their recovery.

Lorraine continued: “Norton House was not just a place to stay, the staff offered a great service and often went above and beyond – I am sure the families appreciated this excellent facility.”

We would like to thank SSAFA and all other supporting organisations for the fantastic partnership over the years to achieve a common goal: “To support those who serve”.