Forces Charity Golden Grove Mansion Appeal - Help needed

Ex Royal Regiment of Wales soldier Kevin Richards has sent out an appeal for this charity called the Golden Grove Mansion Appeal. If anyone can help in any way, Small or large to help purchase and restore Golden Grove Mansion, for use as the first Welsh convalescent home for any servicemen, women and veterans who have been wounded physically and mentally, to enable them to heal and recover from the experience of wars past and present. If you would like any more information and feel that you can make a difference in achieving their dream please feel free in clicking on the link below.

Golden Grove Mansion Appeal
28 Jan 2010

TWO former combat medics are appealing to a nation to help them realise their dream of opening a respite home for Army personnel.

Arfon Williams, 58, originally from Mitchell Crescent, Merthyr Tydfil, and Kevin Richards, 54, of Bridgend, met in 1977 while serving in the Royal Regiment of Wales.

Following their experiences in the Army as Class One medics and then later talking to soldiers desperate for help after leaving the Army, the friends realised there was a pressing need for a convalescent home and therapy centre in Wales.

They and Mr Richards’ wife Carol have spent months putting together business plans, organising meetings with potential sponsors and applying for charitable status so they can secure funding for the project.

The friends have already put in a successful bid on a £1.8m mansion, Golden Grove, in Llandeilo, and have just over a month to secure an initial £200,000 to allow contractors to move in.

If given the go ahead, Golden Grove, which is set in 100 acres of country park, will be theirs.

It would be converted to include counselling services for army personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, therapy rooms to deal with injuries and accommodation for men and women from all regiments seeking respite.

A website – – has been set up to publicise their appeal and the cash has started to roll in from fundraisers across the country.

They have secured support from several Welsh mothers whose sons have died in Afghanistan and hope to gain the backing of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mr Williams, who has two sons in the Army and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder himself, said: “I wasn’t diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder until years after I left the Army so Golden Grove would have an open door policy to any personnel - serving or otherwise - who needed help.

“With counselling sessions I’ve found you’re sat in a room for 40 minutes and then you’re sent off again.

“What we’re proposing is, you can turn up and spend the whole day there - have a counselling session, lunch, a walk around the park, talk to other people there.

“I think there can be quite a lot of stigma that is attached to people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unless you’ve experienced life in the Army, you cannot pretend to know what it’s like.”

Mr Richards said a facility like Golden Grove is badly needed in Wales.

“The project is called Healing the Wounds,” he said.

“Securing the funding for this is something we’re very passionate about.

“There is nothing like this in Wales.

“The Army is a band of brothers. You make friends for life and have such a strong bond.

“People suffering need to have somewhere to go for help in Wales after returning from war or leaving the Army.

“We’re hoping to go into schools and ask for help.

“The troubles in Afghanistan could go on for another 10 years and it could be the children we are talking to who may need somewhere like Golden Grove in the future.”

You can find out more about the Golden Grove Mansion Appeal at

If you have fundraising ideas, please contact either Kevin Richards on 07518 063566 or Arfon Williams on 07880 604543.

You can also make a donation online or direct to Barclays Bank at Sort Code: 20-84-41, Account: 90516929.
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