Dog and his owner among volunteers thanked at charity’s awards ceremonies

Awards ceremonies have taken place to thank the dedicated army of volunteers who give up their time to help at The Royal Star & Garter Homes in Surbiton and Solihull.

The Charity, which cares for ex-Servicemen and women and their partners living with disability or dementia, has over 60 active volunteers who help staff provide the award-winning care to its residents.

Each year certificates and medals are handed out to volunteers who have completed either one, five, 10 or 20 years of voluntary work with the Charity.

Among the volunteers to receive certificates and medals for their service was PAT (Pets As Therapy) dog Harvey, and his owner Irene Rowe. She has been coming to the Surbiton Home with the loveable lurcher for five years. “Harvey loves coming here, he pulls me into the Home and knows which residents have treats for him,” said Irene. “I like coming here because I enjoy talking to people and hearing their stories, it’s very humbling.”

Ken Mackay has been coming to the Solihull Home for one year. He said: “I became a volunteer when I did because my mother was a resident here before she passed away last year. I like the people and the building, and I like what the place stands for. I find the volunteering rewarding, and it’s nice to give back a bit to the Charity.”

Chief Executive Andy Cole said: “These events are about saying a huge thank you to the amazing volunteers who give their precious time to the Charity. We are very grateful for what they do for our residents, every day.”

The volunteers help with some of the 50 weekly activities put on at each Home for residents. Raquel Pena Aristizabal, Activities & Volunteers Manager at Surbiton, said: “Helping others is the highest expression of the soul and we recognise that this is what our volunteers do for our residents. So we hold this ceremony to express gratitude for what they do.”

Charlie Wilson, who occupies the same position at the Solihull Home, said: Volunteers mean so much to the Home and make such a huge difference to the lives of our residents. They are kind and wonderful people and is it so appreciated that they give their valuable time to us. It’s nice to have the opportunity to say a big thank you on behalf of us all.”

Anyone interested in volunteering for The Royal Star & Garter Homes, in its Surbiton, Solihull, or the new High Wycombe Homes, can visit


For further information please contact:

Goolistan Cooper

Communications Officer


t: 0208 481 7669 / 07391 868796

Cally Madden

Marketing & Communications Manager


t: 020 8481 7692 / 07881 017299


About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for military veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War.

Today our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes offer a pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care. We have award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands and Surbiton, Surrey. Our third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, opened in April 2019.

We continue to expand our services to reach even more veterans. In 2018, we were able to support 186 residents in our Homes and 36 guests at our Day Care service. We also offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. We provided 11,700 individual sessions of physiotherapy and speech & language therapy last year to support our residents’ health, and over 5,600 places to residents for activities, outings and events, to promote well-being.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.


Twitter: @starandgarter




The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a member of the National Care Forum – the leading voice for not-for-profit care providers. A national perspective may be available from or by contacting 02476243619. More details on NCF available at

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