The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling and guests of The Abbeyfield Kent Society and Housing Association gathered at the site on 20th September, to celebrate work commencing on the project for its new extra care housing scheme in Larkfield, which will comprise 74 one and two bedroom apartments with care and support for older people.
Twenty of the apartments, which are being constructed in Martin Square, will be reserved for veterans and/or their spouses, providing much needed care, compassion and companionship to those in need.
In his speech, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle said: “Inherent in the job of working in the armed forces is a high risk of harm, both physical and psychological. Abbeyfield Kent’s commitment to providing specialist support to people who served the nation valiantly is admirable.
“It can be a lonely and sometimes hostile world for those leaving the forces, after a considerable length of service. As an ex-regular soldier, I have come across veterans who need additional time to adapt to changed circumstances. Those suffering need to be able to call on more support in the changed environment outside the military, if they are not to fall between the cracks in these different circumstances.”
George Jessel DL, who leads a fundraising committee, which has raised over £1m of their £2.8m target to contribute to the project, was also in attendance, along with three of the Queen’s Own Buffs with their Standard Bearer and representatives from the development’s prinicipal contractor, Kind & Company. Guests enjoyed a visit to the site, followed by speeches and refreshments at the Larkfield Priory Hotel. The Larkfield project is expected to be completed in 2018.