Former soldier Philip Heard is offering his stunning West Coast holiday home to veterans from all over Britain for free holidays.
Ex Grenadier Philip, 84, who is originally from Devon and moved to Scotland 31 years ago, became a farmer after leaving the army. He has built a beautiful house next to his own home at Glenbarr near Tarbert with stunning island and sea views, and has offered it to military charities, including Help for Heroes, for use by service personnel and veterans and their families.
Help for Heroes has 12 families booked into the holiday home, many of whom are having their first holiday in years. Robert Stoddart and his wife, Ann, surprised their three children, aged 18, 13 and 8, on Christmas day by telling them about their planned holiday to Glenbarr in March.
Robert, of Falkirk, said: “My family and I are really looking forward to this amazing holiday as we've been through a lot this year. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and my wife has also been unwell. This year we were looking forward to Christmas, as we hadn’t told the kids about the holiday. We want them to look forward to it so we told them on Christmas Day. They were over the moon as they've only been on one holiday before.”
Afghanistan veteran Johnathan Lee, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, has just enjoyed a week’s holiday with his wife, Dawn, and children Hazel, 3, and 11-month-old David.
Johnathan, who lost a leg after being caught in a roadside blast in Helmand province in 2007, said: “Glenbarr is a beautiful place, and what a very nice gentleman Philip Heard is to give us this offer. We had a brilliant time, there is no phone signal or internet in the accommodation, so it was total peace and quiet. There were lots of lovely places to visit nearby and the children particularly enjoyed the beautiful beaches.”
Philip Heard explained: “My father was left very disabled after World War 1, so Help for Heroes is a cause that is very close to my heart. I built this house for service personnel, veterans and their families to get a much-needed break. It is in a beautiful part of Scotland and would suit anyone of any age. I am keen to share the quiet, beautiful surroundings that Glenbarr has to offer.”
Philip has set up the holiday home as a charity, Island View Forces Respite Association. He does not charge for use of the property, which sleeps 8 to 10 people, with the only charge being a £25 per week cleaning fee. The house is accessible downstairs but also has two bedrooms upstairs. Philip is also looking for support from a supplier or manufacturer who can donate a stairlift to allow wheelchair users to use the upstairs rooms as well.
If you’re interested in booking Mr Heard's holiday home, please contact our Band of Brothers team.