These photos show the progress of a new lifeline centre being built at Lympstone for injured Royal Marines and their families.
The £2.4million support hub, being built opposite the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone (CTC), is expected to open in January 2020 and will be the first of its kind in the country for Royal Marines.
Devon County Councillors Jeff Trail and Richard Scott, representing the Exmouth area, were invited to the new build to see the progress made since work began in May 2019.
The building has been funded the Royal Marines Association (RMA) and once open the community hub will offer training, mental health and welfare support, and other services, for serving and former marines and their families.
The hub will help marines overcome the physical and mental strains of military life and combat, helping them to switch back to civvy street once their careers end.
Other areas within the hub will be used by families, cadet groups and for activities.
Cllrs Scott and Trail were shown around the site and inside the new hub which, from next year, will offer help and support to serving marines and those who have been medically discharged.
Cllr Scott said: “Jeff and I are passionate supporters and advocates of our Royal Marines and their families.
“This is a massive investment in our division and support for serving and former Royal Marines.
“The family ethic of the marines, and desire to protect and support each other, is something for us all to aspire to.”
Once built, the CTC hub will benefit more than 50,000 serving personnel and their families over the next 30 years, offering welfare support, workshops, family help and activities to medically discharged and serving marines.
The off-site hub has been built across the road from the commando training centre so anyone struggling mentally can find help and support nearby without crossing the camp’s main threshold.
Royal Marines veteran Mark Ormrod, from Plymouth, who lost both legs and his right arm to an IED in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 2007, spoke in support of the new hub earlier this year.
He said: “The fact that the hub is located outside of camp is hugely significant.
“Anyone struggling mentally may find it hard to step inside the boundary, but this will be somewhere people can come and start to feel more at ease.
“Families can come under a lot of strain, particularly during deployments and months-long exercises, so having a place they can go is a big deal.
“We’re one big family and the hub is integral to that.”
A group of 25 women this summer took part in the 48-hour Royal Marines Survival Ladies Weekend and raised £24,000 for the RMA’s fund to build the new hub.
The RMA charity, which by May 2019 had raised around £1.9 million of the total build finance needed, stressed further community funding was needed ahead of the hub’s 2020 opening.
Donations to the hub project can be made through JustGiving, here.