A NEW facility for armed services veterans has opened in Prestwich.

The Duke of Westminster opened Leon House, which will provide life-changing support for those battling addiction and mental health issues, last week

The 23-bed facility will support ex-army servicemen and women battling addiction, including gambling and alcohol dependency and those suffering from mental health issues such as PTSD.

The refuge will take referrals from GPs, army charities, and other professionals, and will provide a crucial lifeline and help veterans get back onto their feet free of charge.

The Duke was invited to the opening by Colonel Andy Reid MBE, a long-term supporter of Leon House.

Colonel Reid lost both his legs and his right arm after stepping on an explosive device whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009. He astounded people with his recovery, spending just two weeks in hospital before returning home.

Speaking at the opening, The Duke of Westminster said: “Through my work with the Westminster Foundation I know how important it is to support people in confronting their mental or emotional challenges, as well as their more practical ones, such as finding a roof over their head.

“Leon House provides a great balance between having a space to call your own and enabling a place to share experiences, good and bad.”

Colonel Reid added: “Leon House will quite literally save lives ­— there are so many men and women who struggle with mental health issues and related problems including addiction after leaving the armed forces mainly due to the experiences they’ve had and the things they’ve seen.”