NW RFCA completes injured serviceman’s home adaptations in Burnley


Property and facilities management is one of the most significant functions of NW RFCA. Through the professionally qualified Infrastructure team, NW RFCA is responsible on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the upkeep of over 40 tri-Service Reserve Forces’ sites and Cadet Centres. This impressive portfolio of properties provides the vital footprint and hub for all Reserve and Cadet activity in the region. Another major part of the team’s work includes home adaptations in the region for men and women who are serving with or have served with the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and who have been injured in the course of their duties.P1050349

To date, NW RFCA has carried out 33 home adaptations in the North West for servicemen and women. The aim of the programme is to provide normality in the home by altering the home to suit the individual’s needs. Funded by the MOD, welfare issues are dealt with by the Personnel Recovery Unit (PRU), HQ 42 Inf Bde & HQ NW. The role of NW RFCA is to interpret the needs and provide suitably designed accommodation.

P1050316NW RFCA has recently completed work on the home of a former soldier from Burnley. Kingsman Sean Winder, 2 LANCS, joined the Army in 2009 aged 20. In 2010 whilst on deployment in Afghanistan, Sean was shot through the right femur, an injury which led to complications requiring months of treatment and rehabilitation.

Sean said: “Once the wound had healed, it turned out I had one leg shorter than the other by about three inches. I had to have it re-broken and a frame put on my leg to lengthen it. That process took five months.

“Once the frame was off I had to return to Headley Court, where I’d already spent a couple of periods of treatment, for physio and rehabilitation. Because my leg had been straight for five months, when the frame came off it just stayed straight and didn’t bend. Through treatment, the team at Headley Court managed to get me up and riding a bike again – not as fast as I used to, but I can do a good jog now. It’s still an ongoing process – it’ll always be like this now.

“About six months ago, while I was under the PRU at HQ 42 Inf Bde & HQ NW in Preston, I was doing a course as part of my resettlement. I mentioned that I was struggling a bit with some things at home like the stairs and getting around comfortably, and my Personnel Recovery Officer (PRO) mentioned getting adaptations to my house. They arranged for an Occupational Therapist to visit the house and make some recommendations, and then it rolled on from there.P1050319

“Based on the recommendations, they’ve built a new extension to the back of the house and installed a fully accessible ‘wet room’ bathroom and a new, more accessible kitchen. An extra rail’s also been installed on the stairs. I don’t have to go upstairs at all any more – everything I need is on the ground floor. It’s a lot better – everything is easier. I’m all settled in now, and can get on with life and running my own business.”

NW RFCA is currently working on two other home adaptations in the region, and this programme of work continues to be a vital, and rewarding, part of the Association’s support to the Armed Forces community in the North West.

Reserve Forces