Liverpool's veteran rehab centre faces uncertain future after council cuts

Image source, Tom Harrison House
Image caption,
Tom Harrison House, currently receives £400,000 from Liverpool City Council

A veterans' rehabilitation centre fears for its future after learning that its funding could be more than halved.

Tom Harrison House currently receives £400,000 a year from Liverpool City Council, but this annual support may be cut to £180,000 from April.

Spokesman Dougie Dunsmore-Dawson said any reduction in funding would "put at risk" the support it provides.

A council spokesperson said funding was based "on the number of veterans from Liverpool" who benefit.

Tom Harrison House is the only residential rehabilitation centre in the UK that exclusively serves military veterans, serving personnel, and their families.


"Ultimately we're trying to help veterans recover from addiction issues with alcohol and drugs and we do some great work here," said Mr Dunsmore-Dawson.

"The evidence is clear there's a thriving community of veterans in recovery and so to jeopardise that is just a travesty."

The council explained its proposal to reduce funding by saying it could no longer afford to fund treatment for veterans who were not from Merseyside.

Approximately half of those being treated at the centre are from Liverpool, with the remainder travelling there from the rest of the UK.

A council spokesperson said: "Its work is very much appreciated and valued. Our intention is to continue to provide funding, but it will be based specifically on the number of veterans from Liverpool that receive services.

"It is important to stress that no final decision has been taken and it is subject to further discussions."

Image caption,
Craig Nicholson struggled to cope with life after leaving the Army

Ex-soldier Craig Nicholson went to Tom Harrison House in 2017.

Having served for four years with 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, he battled drug addiction when he returned to civilian life.

"Nobody could relate to me because I was an ex-soldier," he said. "I remember the very first day I came to Tom Harrison House and I was made to feel welcome straight away."

When asked about the funding cuts he said: "I think it's absolutely outrageous - it's a crying shame."

Tom Harrison House now plans to ask to national veteran charities for additional funding.

Mr Dunsmore-Dawson said he understood the Liverpool City Council's need to make savings and did not blame the local authority.

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