OUR IMPACT IN 2018/19 IMPROVING LIVES EVERY DAY
CHIEF EXECUTIVEâ€™S INTRODUCTION
SUPPORTING THOSE IN NEED
OUR MISSION, VALUES AND VISION
OUR YEAR IN NUMBERS
OUR VILLAGE: TODAY AND TOMORROW
PREPARING FOR TOMORROW:
SOLVING THE SOCIAL CARE CRISIS
A UNIQUE EMPLOYER
USING OUR EXPERTISE TO CHANGE
DOING IT TOGETHER
RBLI 100 YEARS
CHAIRMAN’S WELCOME A year to remember - 100 years on from humble beginnings, and our charity is thriving! Welcome to RBLI’s Social Impact Report
During this financial year we also marked
of RBLI’s Centenary year, and what a great year
particularly poignant and meaningful time for
2018/19. This year has, of course, seen the start it has been.
One of the highlights of this year has been the
progress with our Centenary Village expansion and development. We have seen the impact of the major investment in our facilities and
care services for older veterans. Our exciting
new Extra Care facilities, which will also allow opportunities for day care, were built, and
the anniversary of the end of WWI. It was a
our charity. We remembered how much the
veterans of the past and present have given,
and have sacrificed, as well as our responsibility to be here for them in their time of need. With our special Wall of Honour we were able to
celebrate many individual lives, and bring more families on to our unique Village, so they could remember their loved ones.
will bring more isolated older veterans into
At the time of our Centenary although we
Our new dementia garden at Gavin Astor
proud to say that this year has been, in my
this welcoming and stimulating community. House was also given the green light and
will be delivered in partnership with Barratt
Developments. This will hugely improve the
quality of life for some of our oldest residents on the Village, and those who most need our support.
This year our work helping people with
reflect on more than one year’s impact I am opinion, RBLI’s best year yet. I am confident
that the vision of the original founders, and the work we have done to build on that, puts RBLI in the right position to help more people now, and with every year going forward. Yours sincerely
disabilities to stay in work, was highly praised by the government. Our social enterprise
Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Co. had a
terrific year delivering for more customers than ever before. Well done to all who are helping
us achieve these excellent results creating more
STEPHEN KINGSMAN CHAIRMAN
opportunities for disadvantaged veterans.
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 3
CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S INTRODUCTION Our vision, our legacy, our impact It is a proud moment to be at the helm of a charity as it
In this 2018-19 report we explain not only the impact that
milestone but an astounding fact that the RBLI of today
sure we are laying the foundations to meet the needs
reaches its 100th year. It is not only a major organisational is so true to the vision of the charity’s original founders
100 years ago. A group of determined individuals, most who were veterans of WWI themselves, joined with
philanthropists to help the returning soldiers recover
their physical health, and their place in the world. They were determined to do this at scale. Furthermore their incredible foresight in recognising that true recovery
requires not just excellent nursing and treatment, but also depends on purpose, skills, work, and positive
relationships is the reason RBLI has not only survived, but grown and thrived.
It is incredible to reflect on the fact that the charity is
still supporting veterans of our armed forces, still making wooden products in our own factory and still maintaining the same focus on employment and skills. There are
very few charities that are in a position to celebrate such longevity and consistency of expertise.
In this exciting year RBLI will reach the half way point in our 10-year growth strategy and this year we have
announced some significant developments to help the charity reach hundreds more veterans. We are making
RBLI has made on individual lives but how we are making of the future, and provide practicable and sustainable solutions for some of the most pressing social issues our nation is facing. RBLI’s approach to holistic care
which combines modern facilities and mixed homes with
outstanding care, welfare, and meaningful activity is vital. RBLI’s work is not just significant for veteran welfare, but for the national crisis in adult social care, and the reality
that so many more people in the UK will be living longer, and also working longer, with disabilities and health conditions.
I am also delighted to be able to use this report to thank the individuals, trusts and foundations, organisations
and companies that are partnering with us to support veterans and people with disabilities. It is because of you that we are able to help so many beneficiaries
gain the skills and tools to deal with the difficult hand that life has dealt them. It is a pleasure for all of us at
RBLI to celebrate this exciting Centenary with so many prestigious, committed and expert partners. Thank you again,
huge progress with our £22m Centenary Village campaign which will provide hundreds more homes, recovery and
development opportunities, and a welcoming community for veterans of all ages, from all over the UK. We have delivered LifeWorks in new northern locations where
disadvantaged veterans are concentrated. We launched Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Co. with the First
Minister of Scotland where we are now offering veterans with severe disabilities experience with cutting-edge
technology so they can gain transferable manufacturing skills. We also unveiled our beautiful Wall of Honour, launched RBLI’s first legacy giving programme, and
announced a new nationwide fundraising partnership with Be Military Fit.
4 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
STEVE SHERRY CMG OBE CHIEF EXECUTIVE
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 5
SUPPORTING THOSE IN NEED
6 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
KEY FOCUS IN 2018/19 What was our focus? Our focus over the past year has been clear - continue the excellent work
we have begun in building and improving our village through the Centenary Village project. We have engaged in supporting those with mental health
conditions, both through wider welfare support, and through expansions to our care facilities which include specialist support for those with dementia.
In addition we have continued to deliver gold standard support and create
invested in new buildings and
facilities this year
opportunities for veterans and disabled people through our employment support programmes and social enterprises across the UK.
Why was this important? We are in year four of a ten year strategy. We wanted to expand our charity
to ensure no veteran was left behind, and ensure we are ready to meet the
blocks and 15,000
bricks laid to build
great new facilities for older veterans
needs of the future in regards to employment and care. All our research
showed that veterans - especially those who were single and male, were not a priority for public housing. That’s why we are building a village for
veterans, and individuals who are struggling with mental health conditions, homelessness and other barriers to an independent life.
supported this year
Nationally, we know we have an ageing population with an increasing
percentage of us suffering with poor health as we grow older. Therefore, improvements to our care facilities were also vital as we moved into our 100th year. Changes to employment are also in progress, with further
breakthroughs digitally and in AI, people who are already struggling with
through Let’s Get Working
work will need even more support.
have a disability
How did we do?
Our Centenary Village expansion plan (which you can read more about
Moving forward, we will continue to
enabling our veterans’ housing to become ever closer to reality.
on page 29), which integrates health
on pages 24-27) has seen significant progress, with generous donations Our new extra care facility, with day care, is now complete and ready to
become a home to new residents. More about this project and how it will make a difference can be read on page 34-35.
Our employment support programme for veterans, LifeWorks, has stayed strong, continuing to branch out and deliver in even more cities around Britain. Find out more on pages 38-41.
Similarly, our wider employment and skills division has built on its success
and is now delivering more support for disabled people to stay in work, as well as an ever-expanding skills programme to ensure people in Kent and Sussex have the skills employers need.
Lastly, our social enterprises have continued to provide real opportunities to injured veterans and people with disabilities and health conditions. Ongoing
build the STEP-IN programme (detail and social care, not only on our village
but also creating more impact through replication and partnership nationally.
With new leaders in Government, and a new focus and commitment nationally on veteran welfare, we also aim to be a collaborator in the search for new
solutions. Our LifeWorks and LifeWorks Families programmes (pages 38-41) are
renowned UK-wide, and we thoroughlly believe that they could be utilised and adapted further in the veteran space, and beyond.
commercial success and support from Government means they are a lifeline to those needing experience and skills in the civilian workplace.
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 7
OUR MISSION, VALUES AND VISION Our mission is to improve lives every day. In our centenary year, our heritage as a military charity has shone through, with many projects ensuring we can continue to support our veterans in the years to come. However, as a charity, part of our mission is always to
support those in need so we have expanded and used our expertise developed in the veteran space to support others in need. Our aim is to ensure all our beneficaries are
supported to be as independent as possible, a goal unique to every individual. These
next few years are crucial in preparing for an uncertain future, and thatâ€™s why we will be investing in the areas we believe need our support the most.
WE WILL INVEST IN:
Welfare Research in Scotland in 2018 revealed that every 6 days, a veteran takes their own
life. We also know that around 120,000 British veterans are unemployed. Our welfare
teams, employment support programme LifeWorks, and new development programme in Scotlandâ€™s Bravest Manufacturing Company are helping to combat these distressing
facts. Our STEP-IN model, integrating care, weflfare, mental health and employability is a national exemplar.
Homes We know there is a national housing crisis, and it is our duty to ensure that we help to
overcome this for our veterans and their families. Our Centenary Village offers new homes, flats, care, employability support, and a real community for veterans who are homeless or in need.
Care The UK is home to over 850,000 people with dementia - a figure set to rise to 1 million by 2025. Our new care home and refurbished nursing home will offer support to these, and
other older people locally who are in need of a home from home, or extra help day-to-day.
HOW WE HELP Our programmes, facilities and services
BRITAIN’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING COMPANY Our social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company provides much-needed employment and
volunteering opportunities to Armed Forces veterans and
people with disabilities. We help some people who need to gain experience, and others who need longer term work. Find out more about the last years’ impact in this unique factory on pages 44-45.
HOMES AND ACTIVE LIVING Our 70-acre village in Kent is home to hundreds of veterans and their families. We support everyone who lives here
to be as independent as possible, with an ultimate goal of independent living for those who are able to do so.
Whether they stay in a family house or a care home, all of
our residents are offered support via STEP-IN, our integrated
health and social care programme delivered by our incredible on-site Care and Welfare teams.
EMPLOYMENT AND SKILLS We’re providing support year-round to veterans who are
struggling to find, stay or return to work in civvy street. We are also working nationally to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the workplace - educating employers
and providing individuals with solutions they need to do
their jobs. Across Kent and Sussex we continue to deliver longerterm employment support and skills training for
people who are out of work, including those with mental health conditions or physical disabilities.
SCOTLAND’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING COMPANY Our Scottish-based social enterprise, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, is a lifeline to Armed Forces
veterans across the border. Opened this year, it provides career development support and work opportunites to
Armed Forces veterans, especially those who have been injured or have sustained disabilities whilst in service.
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 9
OUR YEAR IN NUMBERS RBLI statistics between 2018/19
People we supported in 2018/19
Armed Forces veterans
People out of work
residents cared for in Gavin Astor House nursing home
10 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
donation received from Barratt Developments towards our Centenary Village
invested in 2018/19 on our new Extra Care facility with 15 new suites and Day Care facilities
on ecological surveys, architect fees, and land preparation for the new Centenary Village expansion
on new machinery for BBMC, fixtures and fittings and refurbishments across the Village
Veterans and spouses supported through LifeWorks
Men, women and children living on our village
money received in donations in 2018/19 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 11
INTRODUCING OUR CENTENARY From the battlefields of the First World War, many soldiers left to find they were now fighting a personal battle against tuberculosis. In 1919, we began helping thousands of the 55,000 soldiers who were discharged from the service with tuberculosis. A century on, our charity has expanded to support veterans with many disabilities and injuries, as well as disabled people on civvy street. The expertise we developed supporting veterans with TB to find a purpose in life now means we are specialists in employment support. Our village, is still thriving with multiple developments ongoing to create our Centenary Village vision - able to support veterans for the next 100 years.
12 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 13
RBLI – SUPPORTING VETERANS FOR 100 YEARS
In 1919, for most, the war was over. But for many of the hundreds of thousands returning to British shores with injury and illness, the daily battles continued. During the First World War, 887,858
faced serious hardship and suffering in
movement towards skills training and
1,600,000 also seriously injured as a
four long years of conflict.
to help rehabilitate injured veterans and
British troops were killed with around result of the conflict.
The hundreds of thousands of men and women returning to our shores were in desperate need of support.
Whether suffering dreadful physical
a country counting the financial costs of
re-establish their life and motivation.
RBLI was established in 1919 as
Industrial Settlements Inc to offer
With the early establishment of an
returning from the First World War with
where veterans could not only receive
accommodation and recovery to troops tuberculosis.
injury or mental trauma, or finding
Based at Aylesford’s iconic Preston Hall,
suffering from tuberculosis, veterans
that as well as health treatment,
themselves among the thousands
employment was crucial if we were able
RBLI’s insightful founders recognised
on-site factory, it soon became a place treatment, rehabilitation and homes,
but also gain training and employment
to aid their recovery and independence. One hundred years later, that same
1919 Industrial Settlements is established at Aylesford’s Preston Hall to provide support to troops returning from the Great War with TB
The first bungalows are built with large balconies, large gardens so veterans can ‘grow their own’
HRH Edward Prince of Wales visited the Aylesford settlement, taking a great interest in the activities before becoming patron
George Orwell stays at Preston Hall after returning from the Spanish Civil War and falling ill with tuburculosis
The total number of patients, settlers and dependants at the Preston Hall site rises to 1,641
14 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
ethos of care, training and employment
300 veterans and their families with
BBMC creates opportunities for exforces
diverse village facilities and services
care home and emergency homes
in service to help them maintain their
is still at the very core of RBLI. With
we have retained the holistic approach
while our village has grown beyond the dreams of our original founders.
We have developed a truly unique community built upon an ethos of
integrated care, with health, social care,
welfare, active living and employment in
one place, to help people turn their lives around more quickly.
We provide homes to more than
independent-living, a highdependency for those most in need of immediate
personnel to use the skills they learned independence in civilian life. Products
manufactured at BBMC’s Aylesford base include signs for Network Rail, Balfour
At the heart of this village, is also the
Beatty, Amey and Highways England, as
very same factory, now called Britain’s
well as pallets.
Bravest Manufacturing Company
(BBMC), which is an effective commercial operation providing employment and transferable skills to over 100 people
– 75% of whom are veterans or people with disabilities.
Industrial Settlements’ name was changed to British Legion Industries (Preston Hall) Incorporated
RBLI’s social enterprise launches its reflective signs department - with 136 disabled employees
The Queen bestowed the Royal prefix on the charity. New housing blocks and the present factory were built over the following three years
A larger warehouse and office block were constructed and leased to The Royal British Legion, which is still the headquarters of the Poppy Appeal today
In December Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II toured BBMC’s goods department and the signs departments
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 15
Building on this expertise and
Bravest Manufacturing Company
We also want to continue to build
service personnel, we moved outside
Adopting the same model as BBMC
nowhere else to turn can call home – at
experience supporting injured exthe veteran space. We wanted to
use these skills where we could to
help others, including people with
disabilities, to thrive and overcome their own challenges.
As we move into our centenary year,
RBLI has recently established Scotland’s
(SBMC) based in Renfrewshire.
our basis of care – a place those with
within a village that can provide holistic care and welfare for individuals based
there. It will provide manufacturing and training opportunities for 150 disabled
or long-term unemployed veterans over
the next three years. You can read more about this venture on pages 46-47.
our headquarters in Aylesford, ensuring that support is there for the next 100 years and beyond. This project, the
Centenary Village, has already begun, and you can read more about it in the next section.
RBLI greatly expands the woodwork and signs departments following periods of exponential growth in sales
RBLI’s highdependency nursing home Gavin Astor House opens
RBLI purchases a Leatherhead social enterprise run by the Queen Elizabeth Foundation, expanding operations into Surrey
After successful delivery of Workstep, RBLI wins the contract to deliver the Government’s New Deal for Disabled People
Queen Elizabeth Court, RBLI’s assisted living accommodation for veterans and their dependants opens its doors.
16 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
RBLI’s transformative employment support programme for veterans, LifeWorks, is launched
The RBLI factory is rebranded and launched as Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company at the House of Commons.
The first facility in RBLI’s Centenary Village - 24 specially adapted apartments is officially opened by the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon KCB
RBLI’s LifeWorks programme reaches over 1000 Armed Forces Veterans nationwide
Royal British Legion Industries enters its centenary year and launches Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in Renfrewshire
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 17
OUR VILLAGE: TODAY AND TOMORROW Our village in Aylesford, Kent, is a thriving community, home to veterans and civilians, old and young, retired and working, couples, individuals and families. We are currently expanding and developing the village so we are ready for the next 100 years. This village vision is called the Centenary Village. By expanding and improving on our unique community, we will be able to provide a beacon of hope to hundreds more homeless or struggling veterans across the UK. With effectively integrated health, mental health and employablity, as well as a financially sustainable model of support, the RBLI Village is an important example to other housing providers and veteran communities.
18 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 19
Offering our veterans the homes they need now and in the future FAMILY HOUSING Our Veterans’ family housing is ideal for families adjusting
to civilian life. Residents become part of a lively ex-military community with care and activities. This is essential for
families coping with diagnosis, disability, and financial crisis. By providing two, three and four bedroom accommodation
for families with a military connection, we offer stability and comfort.
APARTMENTS Our apartments are specially adapted for veterans who have been wounded or injured, or who have a disability which
affects their mobility. Developed as the first facility in our
Centenary Village expansion, they were built to the highest specification and mean that injured veterans can have the
facilities they need to live independently in their daily lives.
EMERGENCY HOMES Our short-term accommodation provides a ‘stepping
stone’ for Armed Forces Veterans who are really struggling, especially those who have become homeless. It provides
a safe place for them, with a private space of their own, as we support them to find longer-term solutions, including
employablity, and overcoming debt or a mental health crisis. We are proud to be able to offer this to any single Armed
Forces veterans in need, regardless of when, where or who they served for.
ASSISTED LIVING Our village also offers assisted living for people who have
served in the Armed Forces, and their spouses, aged over
55. Designed to maintain independent living for as long as
possible, every resident has their own front door. Residents are offered many opportunities to take part in social activities as part of this unique veteran community.
20 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
BASE CAMP COMMUNITY HUB & CAFE Base Camp is our community hub and cafe. Opened in
2015 it runs activities and events for the local community
around our head office and Britainâ€™s Bravest Manufacturing Company factory. Events throughout the year bring
together old and young, families, friends and people of all backgrounds.
GAVIN ASTOR HOUSE Gavin Astor House is a high-dependency nursing home.
Residents are able to access 24-hour care with privacy and dignity in a home-from-home environment. In addition, a
wide selection of activities and celebrations provided by our in-house Activities Co-ordinator and our Village Community Health and Wellbeing Officer mean there are many social opportunities available amongst a vibrant Armed Forces community of all ages.
CAPEL MORRIS Capel Morris Centre is a custom built venue that provides a spacious and flexible layout with a welcoming atmosphere. The Centre is used by LifeWorks to deliver courses on a
monthly basis. The buidling has community centre room, kitchen, meeting rooms, office and IT Suite. As well as
outstanding employability coaching for veterans the centre is used by the wider local community.
GARDEN OF HONOUR Built to commemorate the centenary of the First World
War, the Garden of Honour is a place where everyone can go to remember those who served, and still serve in our
Armed Forces. In 2018 we launched our Wall of Honour so member of the public can remember their loved ones in this unique space.
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 21
24,000 Visitors at Base Camp
events held in Garden of Honour
isolated older veterans reached
residents living in our village
THE RBLI VILLAGE IS UNIQUE. IT HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE HEARTS OF MANY WHO HAVE LIVED AND WORKED THERE. EVERYONE WHO VISITS LEAVES KNOWING SOMETHING NEW, AND UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT THE STRUGGLES FACED BY SOME OF OUR VERY BRAVEST VETERANS. AMY - RBLI SUPPORTER
CHARLES’ STORY Charles is a D-Day veteran living in RBLI’s Queen
worked within the Civil Service as a Resettlement Officer
beaches aged just 17.
1987. During this time, Charles travelled once a week
Elizabeth Court. Charles braved the terryfying Normandy Charles, who is now 93 years old, moved into QEC in
2018, following the loss of his wife, after she had battled dementia for several years. Charles had a long, varied
for disabled people for 20 years before he retired in
to the RBLI Village in Aylesford helping disabled people find work in the on-site social enterprise, now known as Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company.
career in the forces, joining up in 1942. His time serving
Today, he lives on our village himself, independently, but
in the historic Nuremberg trials.
hand to offer help 24 hours a day should he need it.
including a period in the Military Police where he assisted In 1966 his time in the Armed Forces came to an end,
but Charles did not leave public service behind. He then
with the knowledge that our domicilliary care team are on
RBLI’s Centenary Village is a £22m investment in facilities and services ensuring that we can be here for the veterans who need us now and for the next Century.
has been designed for the veterans
who are most in need. Single veterans, particularly those who are struggling with financial crisis, relationship
breakdown, or mental health are not
prioritised for social housing. Veterans with disablities often spend months, if not years, living in unsuitable
accomodation where every simple
daily task is a frustration. We wanted to offer more veterans a chance to build a second life on our Village,
a supportive and forward-focused community
The project will ensure RBLI is able to offer our life changing holistic care to hundreds more veterans every year. As well as expanding our provision
for older veterans, we will be able to provide a home, with employablity support, for those veterans of the
most recent conflicts who suffered life changing injuries and will still be of working age for several decades.
where employablity is at the heart,
The £22m Centenary Village will be a
challenges can be tackled within
the most disadvantaged ex-Armed
and where physical and mental health
significant investment impacting on
Forces from anywhere in the UK. This
investment will enable veterans who come to RBLI with no money, no job and no home to leave with a second
life on civvy street in place. Already we have built 24 accessible apartments.
In total the Centenary Village includes £8m investment in new facilties and
services for older veterans beginning
with our new Extra Care facilities and day care services. We are actively fundraising through the military
community, corporate partnerships,
charitable foundations and individual philanthropists, to help us complete
our vision - this incredible and lasting legacy for veterans.
Photo credit: Andy Bate
RBLI’s Centenary Village expansion
COMMUNITY CENTRE A brand new £2m Community Centre as a hub for self development, featuring a rehabilitation gym, IT suite & café. With spcae for peer
support, employability coaching, independent living skills, therapy, and social groups.
ASSISTED LIVING The £4m Assisted Living Scheme comprising of 24 fully adapted units to
meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable residents. Residents will be able to live independently, with their own front door, but with nurses on hand.
FAMILY HOMES 18 new two and three bed family homes; at £4m these will ensure service families have a stable home while they work towards rebuilding their
lives. Some homes will be individually adapted for severe disabilities.
APARTMENTS 22 one & two bedroom apartments at £4m designed to be fully
accessible for residents in urgent need. These apartments are planned to support veterans facing eviction, homelessness, mental health crisis and sudden diagnosis.
When complete, our expanded Village will offer the following and will mean RBLI can support an additional 600 veterans annually:
Community Centre with fully accessbile gym
Extra care suites
Family homes in town and mews style housing
Assisted living apartments to extend the care and support we have provided since 1919
Fully accessible one and twobed apartments designed to house single veterans and couples in urgent need of a home and support
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 25
OUR CENTENARY VILLAGE PARTNER: BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS
Photo above: David Thomas, CE Barratt Developments marking the donation with Steve Sherry CMG OBE. The plaque was made by William Murray, a veteran now working as a water jet operator at Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Co.
This year we were delighted that our
they have chosen our project to mark
campaign received the backing of the
Executive of Barratt Developments,
visionary £22m Centenary Village
nation’s largest housebuilder Barratt Developments.
The company donated £750,000 to the project, with a further £50,000 lined up for a beautiful ecological garden which will provide a safe,
outdoor space for our older residents. As well as the donation, Barratt
Developments are pushing forward
this commitment. David Thomas, Chief said: “This is the largest donation in our company’s 60-year history. RBLI
and Barratt have a lot in common, with both organisations providing housing, building communities, employing ex
armed forces personnel and marking
significant anniversary milestones. This is why we wanted to support them as they look to build the Centenary Village.
their own veteran employment
“We are immensely proud to stand
RBLI projects and purchasing from
of this project and help this amazing
scheme, involving their graduates in BBMC. All this highlights their fervent commitment to supporting Armed
Forces veterans. We are very proud that 26 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
alongside RBLI in the development charity continue to provide crucial
housing support to ex-servicemen and women.”
WE ARE IMMENSELY PROUD TO STAND ALONGSIDE RBLI IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS PROJECT AND HELP THIS AMAZING CHARITY CONTINUE TO PROVIDE CRUCIAL HOUSING SUPPORT TO EXSERVICEMEN AND WOMEN. DAVID THOMAS, CE, BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS
OUR CENTENARY VILLAGE CAMPAIGN PATRON
GENERAL SIR GORDON MESSENGER KCB DSO* OBE
General Sir Gordon Messenger is the Patron of RBLI’s
Centenary Village campaign. Having served his country in a range of roles including at the MOD and HQ Royal Marines as well as on deployment in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq, he was Vice Chief of the Defence Staff for 3 years.
General Sir Gordon was inspired by the “ethos of self
reliance” that he found on RBLI’s village and is backing our
£22m campaign to expand our holistic services. This year, as well as meeting indiviudally with global philanthropists, he held a campaign event in London. He shared his platform with village resident George Bradford, aged 86, who
described the active living, and positive daily routine, that
is possible for him across such a large Village with multiple locations, activities and social groups.
The event at the Sea Container’s building gave guests the opportunity to hear directly from the General about his
experiences in the Armed Forces as well as his thoughts on current political issues. He emphasised the flexiblity that
is now demanded from our Armed Forces and the rapidly changing nature of military service and culture. General
Sir Gordon expressed his desire that we would see more
Centenary Village buildings completing as early as 2020 and asked all present to take the time out of their demanding
schedules to visit RBLI to see the project plans first hand.
Top three photos: Barratt Developments staff who as part of their graduate scheme, are consulting with RBLI residents to plan a new sensory garden for people with dementia. Bottom photo: RBLI’s Centenary Village campaign is very generously supported by Annington – pictured above celebrating their donation with General Sir Gordon Messenger. During the year 2018/19 we are incredibly grateful to all our campaign supporters including Greenwich Hospital, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Barratt Developments, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, The Sir Jules Thorn Trust, The Henry Oldfield Trust and 3i. These incredible commitments, donations and pledges during the year ensured we are in position to begin the construction.
I AM VERY CONSCIOUS THAT OUR VETERANS, PARTICULARLY FROM RECENT OPERATIONS, MANY OF WHOM WERE YOUNG WHEN THEY EXPERIENCED LIFE-CHANGING INJURIES, WILL NEED OUR SUPPORT FOR DECADES TO COME. WE NEED TO BE THERE FOR THEM. GENERAL SIR GORDON MESSENGER RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 27
POSITIVE FUTURES Truly holistic support can only be delivered in collaboration. On our Kent Village we have been delighted to work closely with many partners to deliver our STEPâ€“IN model of holistic care. We would not have been able to support so many veterans to create positive daily routines without West Kent CCG, PTSD Resolutions, CGL Maidstone, Dementia Care Matters, Oomph, and Leonard Cheshire. We have also established exciting new partnerships with The Jubilee Sailing Trust and Mid Kent Mind to help veterans with their confidence, social relationships, fitness and active living. As a result disadvantaged veterans were able to take part in the Round Britain Sailing Challenge, and a 150 mile cycle challenge to Ypres.
28 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
Every week in the news we hear more and more shocking statistics about our society, the changing needs we have
for social care, and how the current system isnâ€™t a proper solution. It is clear that life expectancy has risen more
OUR STEP-IN MODEL
quickly than healthy life expectancy. Figures show that
STEP-IN provides a structured engagement process
increased across the UK, the years of life gained are being
plan and self-motivation. The aim is that each
over the last 10 years, while life expectancy has gradually
with our Welfare Team, establish a forward thinking
spent in ill-health.
individual actively participates in building a better
Improvements in at-home care and assistive technologies
future for themselves and their family.
mean many people with disabilities and health conditions, are able to stay at home longer, living happier, more
independent lives. These factors combined put increasing
need of social care will continue to rise, but their needs will
Immediate and tailored support
pressure on the social care sector - the number of people in be more serious and complex.
which is holistic
This poses a very serious question concerning not just the
availability of care, but the versatility of the care industry to be able to meet an incredibly wide range of needs, and in
particular, support people wth multiple health conditions. Each of our village residents has their own history, health
requirements, and situation. Over time, we have developed an expertise in delivering solutions for individuals -
TRAINING Learning new skills, volunteering, and employment
recognising that one solution does not fit all. There are
ways of supporting individuals which can be tailored for
every person and their unique needs, goals and barriers
and which are anchored to individual life goals, interests and meaningful activity.
It is because of this that we have a developed an holistic
EVALUATION Regular reviews of progress
and versatile care mode geared towards moving our
beneficiaries - irrespective of their challenges - towards independence. We have developed integrated delivery which can help nationally. Replicable in numerous
scenarios, our STEP-IN model is already influencing other charity leaders and NHS commissioners.
Our STEP-IN programme empowers staff of all disciplines,
Bespoke plans for everyone we are
whether they be in care, welfare or in supported
employment, to bring in specialists and arrange meaningful
STEP-IN creates a collective focus on positive daily routines and all our funders, and specialist delivery partners, value and see the long-term outcomes that can be achieved with this approach across health and mental health, employability and active living.
INDEPENDENCE Steps toward greater independence
However, a delivery model cannot be a solution on its
own, a successful resolution to this national problem also requires the faciltities to deliver the support. Our village
is integral to our successful delivery in Aylesford, and we are proud that the past year has seen us invest and build
new Extra Care suites and day care so we can support even more people.
NEXT STEPS Towards achieving personal life goals
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 29
HELPING VETERANS THROUGH HORTICULTURE
The Veterans’ Horticulture project, delivered by Royal
and offer them with unique routes towards independence
Soldiers’ Charity, provides vital gardening work experience
mental or physical health issues. Up to ten veterans from
British Legion Industries with the backing of ABF – The to veterans who are struggling to secure and sustain employment.
The programme is designed specifically to support veterans in unfamiliar environments and to fulfil their potential, 30 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
following their service – especially those in recovery, with
across RBLI’s village are offered the opportunity to take part in the Veteran’s Horticulture programme at any time.
PAUL’S STORY Paul Jeffries who served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, has faced severe daily battles due to PTSD for more
than a decade, resulting in sustained unemployment, the breakdown of his marriage and, ultimately, a feeling of complete hopelessness. He found purpose once again
through the Veterans’ Horticulture project, funded by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
“I lost the plot after Northern Ireland,” admits Paul. “I had managed to immerse myself in work for a few years, but
preparation for the April public opening of the garden, which Paul lovingly refers to as his “7-acre office.”
“I just can’t work in a factory,” said Paul. “I just can’t deal with the loud noises.”
“Here I can just stand still and be calm – and the staff
here are fantastic. They have all been very patient and
understanding – you don’t get that from a lot of places now-a-days.
then, all of a sudden, my life quickly took a downwards
“And the best part is, I come home, kick my boots off and
feel really accomplished.”
Paul, 44, served for five years, three of which saw him
Having taken his first steps on an entirely different path,
personnel in Northern Ireland. He left the forces in 1996,
continue along this line. He now has ambitions to enrol in
his life. However, he simply wasn’t ready for what he was to
tackle the same difficulties faced by so many serving
Paul now has a real taste for gardening and is eager to
ready to return to his wife and begin the second stage of
a certified horticulture education programme at his local
I want to thank ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity for backing this
“Some people say they have hit a brick wall… well I was
programme and giving me the opportunity to learn new
slammed up against it.
“I started having these horrific nightmares, waking up in
Kate Harrison – Senior Gardener
sweats. I honestly didn’t know what was happening to me.
I would lash out in my sleep and I was completely unable to function – my whole life started to implode.”
Paul’s condition, which would later be diagnosed as PTSD, put an immense pressure on his relationship with his wife. He found it difficult to articulate what was happening to him, and so she found it difficult to understand him as a result.
“It [Paul’s PTSD] had not been good for about 7 years – it all came to head this time last year,” Paul continued. “My
wife decided she had had enough. She said: ‘Paul you have to go and sort this out.’”
Paul had turned to alcohol to quiet his mind, and block out his feelings.
Paul was in desperate need of a fresh start and was moved
“It’s a nice thing to do something to benefit people that need it. It’s a fantastic place to come and lose yourself. “It’s been a massive benefit to us, having extra pairs of
hands here. People might believe that over the Winter, we
don’t really have much to do, but really we put an awful lot of work in prepping for the when it’s open to the public in April. We have to make sure the place is pristine for that. Kate has been alongside Paul since he started. “He has
had his setbacks, but there has been a progression and it’s lovely to see his enthusiasm.”
“He has learned a lot since he’s started. It’s great that we are now doing more than we were.“
We are eager to get him around the garden, and to get him involved in as much as possible.”
immediately by RBLI’s welfare team into the charity’s
emergency accommodation Mountbatten Pavilion. It was
here, within a matter of months, where he would be offered
With our thanks to
an opportunity which put him on an entirely new path. Despite having no prior gardening experience, when
offered the opportunity to take part in the project by
RBLI’s Community Health and Wellbeing Officer Maria
Gallego, Paul jumped at the chance and has since spent
the past year playing a crucial role in the development of
Kent’s Great Comp Garden in readiness for the April 2019 opening.
Paul was ripping out masses of shrubbery and removing and replanting bamboo – a notoriously difficult job – in
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 31
PREPARING FOR TOMORROW: SOLVING THE SOCIAL CARE CRISIS With an ageing population there is a growing demand for care which can cater for multiple health conditions and neurological conditions such as dementia. However, the number of beds available in care homes is not growing fast enough 1, and our own trustee Nadra Ahmed, also chair of the National Care Association, says that social care is “beyond the crisis point” 2 There is no doubt then, that charities, public and private sector need to work together to overcome these issues and ensure our society is better prepared to help those in need now and in the future. Read on to find out about how we’ve collaborated to bring our solution to life, with a holistic model of support, and our new care facility which will help people in need of nursing care every day.
1. https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/end-of-life/data#page/4/ gid/1938133060/pat/6/par/E12000008/ati/102/are/E10000016 2. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/12/social-care-crisisfunding-cuts-government-council-tax
32 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
more people aged 65+ living in the UK in 50 years time
beds available across our care facilities
60% of the residents currently in our care are aged over 65
the number of people aged 85+ will be alive in 2066 compared to 2016
disability free life expectancy peaked around 2011 and has since been declining
investment in new facilities for older veterans
of our Village care staff have undertaken dementia training
of people in care homes nationally have dementia or memory problems
THIS UNIQUE COMMUNITY OFFERS FANTASTIC SUPPORT FOR OUR EX-SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN, HELPING THEM NOT ONLY MANAGE THEIR HEALTH CONDITIONS BUT OVERCOME EMOTIONAL AND PRACTICAL BARRIERS TO INDEPENDENCE.
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE MATT HANCOCK MP Visited RBLI December 2018
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 33
CARE IN THE 21ST CENTURY Our facilities, what we offer, and plans for the future
OPENING OF OUR NEW CARE FACILITY Our 70 acre unique village in Aylesford, Kent, already provides a home to more than 300 people - many of whom live in our
assisted-living accommodation, Queen Elizabeth Court, or our high-dependency nursing home, Gavin Astor House.
However in recognising the ever increasing demands on
our care sector, this year we have begun expansions and
alterations to our village, so we can be industry-leaders in providing support to people in later life.
Now complete, our new Extra Care facility features 15
intermediate care suites and offers day-care to local residents. The spacious rooms, flexible living spaces, and modern
en-suite facilities will offer a home from home for our future residents.
We are proud to have completed this important project, which will improve lives every day.
FUTURE PLANS FOR RBLI CARE After the exciting opening of our new care facility, we will continue with our plans to revitalise and improve our care
services. The next stage is the refurbishment of Gavin Astor House (you can read more about GAH opposite). After this
refurbishment, we will have a floor dedicated to supporting individuals suffering from dementia - one of the most 34 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
significant care issues of our time. Alongside our investment
over the past few years in dementia training for our staff, this
shows our commitment to facing the care issues of today head on. It will also significantly widen the breadth of care available at RBLI, and the positive transitions possible on the village. We are eagerly looking forward to this development which
will build on our 2018 rating of Good across all areas by the
Care Quality Commission. The landscape of care, however, is ever changing, and it is our mission to ensure we better our
delivery year after year, and continue to research the needs of care so we can be ready for the challenges lay ahead.
GAVIN ASTOR HOUSE Our nursing home, Gavin Astor House, has been offering care since it opened on our
Village in 1993. With 52 private bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities, housed in a fully
accessible building, it offers 24 hour nursing care. We are proud to support and care for our residents, some of whom have long-
term conditions and stay with us for many
years, and others who are nearing the end
of their life and need support and dignity in their last few weeks and months. We now
plan to refurbish Gavin Astor and ensure it is the homefrom-home our residents need for the next 25 years.
JOHN’S STORY A 99-year-old WWII hero will be the first resident of Royal British
OUR NEW EXTRA CARE HOME
Legion Industries’ new state-of-the-art Extra Care facility to open in August in the charity’s Centenary Year.
Former infantryman John Riggs joined the Army in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He served throughout the
Middle East before joining the Chindits – a special operations unit
formed to protect British India from the advancing Japanese army. John battled through monsoons, travelling up to 180-miles a month on foot, destroying transport lines to stop the attacks. He returned from the war malnourished and having contracted malaria.
John lived at Queen Elizaneth Court on RBLI’s Aylesford village
15 bed luxury care home
from 2009. After suffering a stroke in 2018 John moved to the high dependency nursing home Gavin Astor House. He will be the first of 15 incoming residents at the charity’s new state-of-the-art care facility in August.
Steve Sherry CMG OBE, RBLI Chief Executive said: “We are
Located in our beautiful
village in Aylesford, Kent
incredibly proud to have John amongst our ranks.”
“It wasn’t until much later in his life that John required on-hand
assistance, so we recognise the need to have established, versatile
care accommodation on our village to cater for a range of needs and to make sure that the transitions which can so often cause distress, can be positive.“
Day care offered in addition to residential care
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 35
CHALLENGING PRECONCEPTIONS Those who have served have gained incredible skills and experiences whilst in the Forces. We know this makes them a great asset to employers with much to offer. Thatâ€™s why we help veterans across the UK to challenge preconceptions, both internal and external. Our LifeWorks programme helps veterans be more prepared for work on civvy street, also encouraging them to show employers what they have to offer and why they are an excellent recruit.
36 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 37
LIFEWORKS: SUPPORTING LIVES
RBLIâ€™s LifeWorks programme is RBLIâ€™s flagship national
almost 80% off all delegates have some form of disability or
outreach, aimed at long-term unemployed veterans
particularly in the most deprived areas of the UK.
Our support programme for veterans lasts over 12 months,
We are proud to say that the programme has made a
substantial difference to veterans and spouses of serving
personnel from all around the UK - and even further afield. More than 1,400 veterans have now passed through the
programme - more than 83% of those attending the course
move into employment, training and volunteering within 12 months. This is especially impressive when considering that
and incorporates a 1-week intensive coaching and peer
support session. We make regular contact with veterans to
track their progress and help with specific hurdles. As well as help with employablity hurdles, like interviews, performance reviews, and restructuring, the LifeWorks team are helping with self employment, mental health, financial and housing challenges, a consistent support for well over a year.
LifeWorks began. One course per month in Aylesford, Kent.
Started delivering two courses a month in Aylesford, Kent.
Started delivering in Scotland
Started delivering LifeWorks Families to spouses & partners of serving personnel
Started delivering LifeWorks Families in Europe
38 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
KEY FACTS Veterans are twice as likely to be unemployed as their civilian counterparts Percent of veterans who attend LifeWorks who move into work/ training within 1 year
LOCATIONS DELIVERED IN 2018/19
Over the past five years, we have supported large
groups of veterans in all four corners of the UK - from
We focus on realistic goals and confidence as well as employability skills
Plymouth to Perth - providing job-seeking to veterans,
utilising our century’s worth of experience. This past year was no different. As well as our usual delivery centres,
which include Manchester, Stirling and Cardiff, we have also run programmes in Hull, Merseyside, Crawley and Llandudno. All of our courses are able to run thanks to
the generous support of other Armed Forces charities,
and many charitable foundations and trusts. This year we would especially like to thank the Veterans Foundation, the Morrisons Foundation, ABF - the Soldiers’ Charity,
Coaching groups delivered in 2018/19
the Annington Trust, The RAF Benevolent Fund, and Greenwich Hospital.
Over 1,400 veterans have been helped by LifeWorks since it began in 2011
VETERANS FOUNDATION HAS A HIGH REGARD FOR RBLI, WHO HAVE DEVELOPED A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE OVER THE PAST 100 YEARS...
Countries have been reached by our team delivering support to spouses & partners
Increased to delivering 36 courses a year with support from Libor
Learning & Work institute published independent evaluation report of LifeWorks
LifeWorks launched in Wales with support of the Morrisons Foundation
Reached 1000 veterans across the UK
LifeWorks Families praised by Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood MP
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 39
NATHEN’S STORY Nathen grew up in care, moving from home to home. His
childhood, he says, was incredibly unsettled: he struggled to make friends and determine a path for his life. In his mid-
teens, he realised his way out was joining the Forces. “I always had a vision of joining the Army. It just seemed the next step in my life. I was ready to dedicate my life to it.”
However, after 18 months of his infantry training, just weeks before passing out and reaching his dream, Nathen’s plans
to find a purpose in his life fell apart. In what was to be one
his final intensive training exercises before becoming what he calls a “real soldier”, Nathen suffered a catastrophic injury,
tearing two tendons in his ankle which would go on to cause
irreparable nerve damage. It was then, at age just 18, Nathen was told he would never actualise his dreams and he was medically discharged.
“I understood it, but was totally devastated by it.” He found himself depressed as a result. Upon being discharged,
Nathen returned to his foster parent, but he was forced to
sleep on the floor. He had no choice but to run away. Nathen was referred to RBLI via the Veterans Gateaway who put
him straight in touch with RBLI’s Welfare, Community and
Outreach manager Steve Parrot. Steve assessed Nathen’s situation, and recognised his urgent need for a home and
support. Upon arriving Nathan said: “I was really nervous, I just didn’t know what to expect. But I was walking into an 40 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
atmosphere where I feel protected and safe – you don’t have to be on high alert.”
“It’s crazy to have all that happen to you then find yourself in a place where you have people on-hand who are actually willing to help.” Three days after arriving, Nathen found himself,
alongside his “new best friends” at Mountbatton Pavilion, on his way to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
In August 2019, just months after arriving on the village and stabilising his life, Nathen took part in RBLI’s employment support programme LifeWorks. During this programme Nathen was able to make more sense of his situation
and reflect on his skills, and motivation. Nathen found
the input from other people on the programme and their
encouragement, hugely motivating. Whilst still on the course, the skills developed by the trainers had helped him secure a
job interview with a leading young person’s activity provider. The following week, Nathen found himself in rewarding employment and on his step towards independence! Supported by
LW FAMILIES: SUPPORTING DURING THE GERMANY DRAWDOWN 2018/19 was a key year for the Army drawdown from
Germany with all but a handful of British troops and their families returning home. It is important to recognise that this can be a potentially turbulent time for the military
spouses and partners as they leave somewhere they may have lived for many years, and return to the UK and of course, the UK jobs market.
Facing relocation, the prospect of having to find new
employment and potentially accommodation, the move
can be a daunting challenge for the partners of our service personnel.
However, our LifeWorks Families team have been there
to help, delivering a course specifically designed to help military spouses secure employment and move towards
independence. This year with support from The Annington
Trust we have helped over 350 military partners and spouses linked to the Germany drawdown.
KIM’S STORY Kim had lived in Germany for over two decades alongside
her husband. However, her husband’s regiment - the Queen’s Royal Hussars - were due to return to the UK. In February
Kim decided to attend a LifeWorks Families programme held in Paderborn.
She said: “With the move to the UK, sadly I was made
redundant from my job as a Civil Labour Clerk. The job I
loved is no longer available once the regiment has settled in
the UK. So with the mind-set of “prior preparation” I enrolled myself onto the Lifeworks course.
“I did not realise how unprepared I was for the UK civilian job market. My CV was archaic to say the least.”
After the LifeWorks team revamped her CV and re-
established her confidence, Kim landed a job interview with the Careers Transition Partnership.
“I had to do a 45 minute video interview but the audio
wasn’t working properly so I had to use a phone as well… [it] was really tough.”
However thanks to her hard work and the support from
Lifeworks Families, Kim’s interview was successful and she started her new job in August - just one week after she arrived back in the UK.
“Without the LifeWorks course I would never have attempted to apply for this job,” she added. Pictured above: LW launched in Hull, LWF SHAPE course delegates in Belgium, LW at Liverpool and LWF at Paderborn, Germany.
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 41
A UNIQUE EMPLOYER Weâ€™re not just any employer - we provide real opportunities for people who may otherwise have never found employment. We know that everyone has something to offer, whether thatâ€™s an injured veteran who has transferable skills from the Forces, or someone with learning difficulties who has an aptitude for precision. Our two social enterprises combine commercial success with social value, and we are proud to be setting an example to other employers with our disability confident practices.
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RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 43
BRITAIN’S BRAVEST – ONE HUNDRED YEARS ON
The same ethos, care and support – but now with a 21st century twist As a leading disability employer we are delighted to report
to offer vulnerable people, and that we now have 25 different
year of business in 2018/19, winning new customers, bringing
changing work placements without so many companies in the
that Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Co. had an excellent
in new product lines but, most importantly of all, increasing the number of workers employed AND our proportion of disadvantaged and ex-service workers to 75%.
By producing high quality road and rail signs, print, and
wooden products, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Co. offers people with disabilities and other significant barriers to
employment commercial work experience, and sought-after skills. By running large fulfilment operations we are also
able to offer important entry level and part times roles for
people who we are supporting with gradual return. We are
product lines. We would not have been able to offer these lifeservice sector making the important decision to “buy social”. Most significantly BBMC has moved into 2 new markets this year; firstly building on our successful road and rail signs
business we have now, as part of our multi-layered partnership with Barratt Developments, commenced production and
installation of House Builder Signage, specifically in supporting the sales and marketing suites at each new development site.
Our long standing relationship with Morrisons has led to retail opportunities for BBMC with our first branded product, a special edition pack of coasters.
delighted that we had so many different work opportunities
invested on updates and
of staff in BBMC have
new equipment in the last 44 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
a disability or service
people are employed by BBMC
A YEAR OF INVESTMENT For any operational business to be successful, it must be
sustainable, and we take great pride in having seen Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company become an industry-leading organisation with a heart.
In order to continue to do this, it is crucial that we invest both in our people - the veterans and people with disabilities whom we
know can work to the highest of standards - but also in technology.
That is why this year, our signs department invested in a new Canon Colorado printer, enabling us to increase our productivity and maximise opportunities for our veterans.
Over the last 5 years, our investments in factory improvements and technology total £585K, showing how much emphasis we place on being not only socially thriving but also commercially competitive and sustainable.
TIRTHA’S STORY Tirtha Thapa dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps and joining the British Army. His
ambitions were realised in 2005 when he had the honour of joining the First Gurkha Rifles, beating
thousands in the selection process at what was his final attempt.
His seven-year service saw him undertake two
tours of Afghanistan. It was the second, in 2010,
when clearing suspected IEDs in an alleyway, that
he was caught in a blast and lost his left leg above the knee.
He found the process of leaving the forces
traumatic, facing loneliness for the first time in his
life. But soon after, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company gave him what he calls a second chance. Tirtha now works alongside five other former
I COME TO WORK WITH A SMILE NOW – I NEVER DID THAT BEFORE RBLI. TIM BROWN, VETERAN AND BBMC TEAM LEADER
Gurkhas, all of whom share similar experiences of service, in BBMC’s sign manufacturing
department. Tirtha and his team are highly skilled,
motivated to win and take on new business, and are respected for the quality of their work. He refers to his new career as his second life.
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 45
SCOTLAND’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING COMPANY 14
Scottish veterans and veteran/ military spouses are currently employed here
The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland opened SBMC
veteran volunteers have been supported in the factory in the last year
Officially opened on 17th June 2019
percent of veteran operatives have a mental/physical health condition
donated to SBMC so far
Opened by Scotland’s First Minister, The Rt Hon Nicola
We were also delighted to be placed at the very heart of
Manufacturing Company has already built a big reputation.
both locally and nationally, as we competed and have been
Sturgeon MSP on 17th June 2019, Scotland’s Bravest
Having seen the growth of our inaugural social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, over the past
century, we realised the potential in providing retraining and
manufacturing opportunities to ex-service personnel in areas outside the South East.
the Scottish Government’s signage procurement choices,
successful at securing a place on the Scottish Government’s Supported Business Framework and the Scotland Excel
Framework. This shows that not only is our new enterprise
helping veterans by providing real work opportunities, it is on its way to becoming commercially successful.
Located on the Erskine village, run by one of Scotland’s most highly regarded charities, the launch of SBMC is part of a
strategic vision to replicate RBLI’s successful model, and has
launched alongside new homes for working age veterans and a new activity centre.
A huge thank you is also due this year to The National Lottery Community Fund (Scotland), after SBMC was awarded a grant of £120,000 to help its on its journey to becoming
the industry-leading social enterprise of Scotland. Maureen
Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company was developed
McGinn, The National Lottery Community Fund (Scotland)
Armed Forces veterans from Scotland were twice as likely
veterans learn new skills through a unique social enterprise
venture has caught the attention of people across the public
future employment and a positive transition to life outside the
to help Scottish veterans, after a 2015 study revealed that
Chair, said: “I am delighted to see this funding will help
to be unemployed as their civilian counterparts. Our new
in the grounds of Erskine Hospital. This will equip them for
and private sectors in Scotland, and we thank all those who
have given their support in the early stages of the SBMC story. These include: newly-appointed Scottish Veterans
Commissioner Charlie Wallace, Major General Robert Bruce CBE DSO and Scottish Veterans Minister Graeme Dey MSP.
46 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
SCOTLAND’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING COMPANY IS AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE OF HOW VETERANS CAN TRANSFER THEIR MILITARY SKILLS TO THE WORKPLACE, LEARN NEW SKILLS AND THRIVE. SCOTTISH VETERANS COMMISSIONER - CHARLIE WALLACE
GARY’S STORY Gary, from Strathaven, lost both of his legs below the knee and his
left arm above the elbow whilst on patrol in Afghanistan in 2010 with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Through SBMC, he has been trained as a water jet cutter and will soon be passing on his skills to other veterans. He said: “Coming from an army background I am used
to being busy and surrounded by other people. I never thought I
would get the opportunity to do this kind of work and that all these
opportunities might be open to me. Not only am I getting specialised skills but experience of working in a busy factory, learning about how the business operates. “Working here has given me a real structure
to my life and I look forward to coming in every day, not only for the
work but for the camaraderie that I have really missed. I look forward
to helping other veterans and being an example to them. If I can do it with no legs and one arm then they can do it too.”
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 47
USING OUR EXPERTISE TO CHANGE MORE LIVES Whilst our heritage is as a veterans’ charity, we have always been determined to use our expertise as widely as possible. That’s why the last century has seen us expand our services to civilians - primarily those who are struggling to work due to disabiltiies, health conditions or other long-term barriers to employment.
48 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 49
TEACHING NEW SKILLS AND IMPROVING LIVES UK-WIDE Veteran care runs through the very core of RBLI, this
of a wide range of employment contracts and large-scale
experience has provided our charity with an immense
knowledge and understanding of the barriers people face both in their journey back to work and their experience
managing their health and mental health conditions in the workplace.
Over recent decades RBLI has been able to apply our unique expertise outside the military space - to many people who
face similar challenges to ex-forces personnel - in the delivery
This year has seen particular growth in our skills department in just one quarter we saw a 400% increase in attendance on courses helping adults across Kent and Sussex. Over 85,000
adults of working age in these counties have no qualifications
at all. By delivering skills courses aimed at key industries such as construction and care, as well as basic skills like Maths and
English, weâ€™re helping reduce this number and transform lives.
people supported through BBO projects In November 2018, Employment Solutions received a 5.5 out of 6 rating from DWP
of people supported through Brighter Futures have a disability
people find a job or stay in employment because of RBLI every year 50 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
working age people in Kent & Sussex have no qualifications - we are helping with skills courses.
Our support for disabled people is delivered across England, Scotland & Wales
GIVING GREATER ACCESS TO WORK We are always proud of our staff and the hard work and dedication they have to improving people’s lives, however this year we were
thrilled when one of our teams received praise from the Department of Work & Pensions for their work.
The Government has set an ambitious target of helping one million more disabled people into employment by 2027. Our Access to
Work team deliver support to disabled people across Great Britain who need help to stay in their roles at work. This may be by giving
them or their managers advice on ways of working, or through the recommendation of some sort of assistive technology. The team
who deliver this vital support were recognised for their exceptional performance as they delivered this programme.
The DWP highlighted the team’s success and congratulated them
on the levels of customer service and performance being achieved against key targets. The 40-strong team helps an average of 1,000
people through Access to Work assessments each month - which just goes to show how incredible their work really is.
LUCIA’S STORY Lucia Gibson found it difficult to maintain eye
contact and had a hushed tone when she first
joined RBLI’s Brighter Futures project, funded by
the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund.
Her progression coach said “Lucia was a young lady with no confidence and was very shy.”
However, with the help of the Brighter Futures
project, Lucia was supported into work experience at a dog kennel - an ideal first step to boost confidence for an animal lover.
Just a few months later, and with a new-found sense of belief, Lucia secured rewarding
employment. Becci added: “She is thoroughly enjoying her new independence.”
Jay came to RBLI Chatham distressed and anxious
“I had been out of work and on Universal Credit since Christmas.
and furthermore in debt to the water company.
My confidence was low, I registered with Change Your Tomorrow
project. Scott and Wayne have been great. They helped me with my CV. They encouraged me to join the job club so that I can practice talking to other people about my experience. I found this really
helpful. I am not a wiz on computers. They helped me with this as well, and helped me build confidence applying online.
“They also helped me get more qualifications. I got a First Aid
Certificate and a Level 1 and 2 NCFE customer service. Then I really
put in effort to apply for different roles. I got two job interviews in 2
days! I read the interview packs over and over with Scott. Then I was offered a role as a cook at KFC on the spot.
“I am really excited about this, and the new opportunities it will give me in the future. I have to say that if it wasn’t for RBLI’s
team in Bognor I would not be in work so soon. Since Christmas
my confidence has been improving all the time. I could feel their commitment and drive for me, and it gave me strength.”
Change Your Tomorrow and Brighter Futures kindly funded by
about her financial situation. She was out of work “I tried to speak with her about job hunting but
the anxiety about the water bill was overwhelming. We were able to have a thorough conversation about all her expenditure and utilities and I
noticed her gas and electricity were very high. We
sat together while she contacted them to discover she had indeed been over-paying for a long time and was due a refund.”
This cleared her water bill completely, and with
money over, Jay was a changed person. “We were able to talk about job hunting, she attended our
6 week employability programme, and following
this immediately secured a role as a receptionist at vet surgery. Jay has been there 10 weeks and has
blossomed. It has been really incredible to see. She
loves animals, she loves working, and her confidence is growing and growing.”
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 51
DOING IT TOGETHER No man is an island, and neither is a charity. We couldnâ€™t provide the services we do without help from our incredible network of supporters across the UK. We are also so grateful to our bank of hardworking volunteers, who selflessly give their time to help others.
52 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 53
Hours given by our volunteers during 2018/19
individual volunteers on our team
OUR VOLUNTEERS 38%
of RBLI volunteers declared that they have a disability 54 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
different roles across RBLI
CLARE’S STORY Clare volunteers in RBLI’s nursing home Gavin Astor House befriending the residents and helping RBLI’s Wellbeing Manager, Herve.
Clare would encourage others to volunteer at RBLI “Just do it – even if it is for a couple of hours – you will enjoy it! Everyone has been really supportive and helpful.”
As a diverse charity, we are able to provide a uniquely wide range of opportunities for volunteers to support. Whether
as individuals or in teams from a company, those who kindly
dedicate their time to RBLI provide us with essential resources
and skills - meaning we can achieve more for the Armed Forces communities, and people with disabilities, who need our help.
RBLI receives more than 14,000 hours of support from over 300 individuals each year.
All of our volunteers dedicate their time across our range of
services and divisions including office-based work, gardening and groundswork, factory work, mentoring and befriending,
professional interviewing and excursions. This is essential in our holistic support to the Armed Forces community, people with disabilities and individuals who are out of work.
KATE’S STORY After a life-changing head injury Kate started to volunteer with RBLI. She has now has progressed to working directly with the
team helping other volunteers find vital work experience and regain their independence.
“I think volunteering, and in particular RBLI, has had a tremendous impact on my recovery.“
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 55
AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR
CENTENARY RIDE Injured veterans, six former Gurkhas and two world record breaking
grandads were amongst 100 cyclists who set off on a 150-mile cycle ride
through the battlefields of the First World War to raise crucial funds for us this centenary year.
Every penny raised by the ride went directly to supporting vulnerable veterans through RBLI projects such as the Centenary Village.
Our thanks to Penny Dyson, Brendan Touhey MBE and the Friends of RBLI for making this happen.
RECORD-BREAKING GRANDADS Two former paratroopers raised money
for RBLI as they broke a world record by
becoming the oldest pair to row any ocean. Neil Young and Peter Ketley, who have a
combined age of 123, completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing 3000
nautical miles across the great ocean in just 63 days and 22 minutes early in 2019.
This amazing duo had never rowed before
they embarked on training for this challenge!
We are delighted that Neil and Peter are now
OUR FIRST LEGACY CAMPAIGN During this year, following a wonderful donation from Betty Underhill,
RBLI also launched our first ever legacy giving campaign. Betty Underhill dedicated her life to supporting veterans and raising funds for veteran
projects, emergency needs, and especially military family dependants. She sadly passed away in 2018 and at her funeral service the full extent of her
dedication, energy and impact was inspirational. Betty was able to continue the impact of her lifeâ€™s passion by making a gift to RBLI in her Will, helping us provide for many more older veterans and family dependants. Every
legacy makes a long term impact like this and we were delighted that 5
solicitor firms joined us in helping promote our new campaign more widely. When the time is right for you, please remember RBLI in your Will. 56 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
raised from the Centenary Cycle Ride
miles rowed by the Grandads
fundraisers took part in at least one RBLI challenge
WALL OF HONOUR UNVEILED ON POIGNANT WWI ANNIVERSARY As the nation fell silent in commemoration of the end
Wendy spoke of her great uncle Albert Bursford, who at
unveiled our Wall of Honour project which offers
battle of Cambrai in 1917.
of the First World War in November 2018, we proudly members of the public the opportunity to recognise
loved ones through a bespoke plaque in a service we
are delighted to continue after its unveiling at last year’s Armistice Day event.
The project, first launched in April of 2018, has seen more than 150 people from across the country honour their loved ones - each donating £100, all of which goes to
just 21 year of age, lost his life on the very first day of the She added: “A stray bullet entered the tank Albert was
driving, killing him instantly. In an effort to lay him to rest, he was buried by nearby French farmers on their land.
“However, this impromptu grave only served as a brief place of remembrance for Albert’s sacrifice. It was
unfortunately destroyed by shellfire later in the war.
RBLI’s services supporting Armed Forces veterans and
“This left the family with no place of remembering his
people with disabilities.
short but important life.
Three of those who took part in the project, Peter Ketley,
“Albert is now remembered on the Wall of Honour.”
Wendy Brimicombe, and Mike Mills, were selected to share their stories with those in attendance.
To find out more about the project please visit rbli.co.uk/wallofhonour or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LEDLEY KING HONOURS RBLI VILLAGE AND ‘TOTTENHAM 16’ WITH A VISIT
The veterans living across our Aylesford headquarters and working within our on-site factory were pleasantly surprised to meet and welcome former England international and Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King. The Wall features a special plaque to the
Tottenham 16 players who served and fought together WWI, and who sadly did not all return.
Ledley said: “It’s been a privilege spending time here today, meeting some of the people RBLI support and hearing their stories. It’s
fantastic to see first-hand the work the charity does to support
ex-service personnel by giving them employment opportunities and accommodation.”
RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT 57
OUR PARTNERS Thank you to all of our partners and funders for helping us to improve lives every day. Over the past year RBLI has received incredible support
We would also like to say a special thank you to the
financial gifts and support have made our work possible.
and the foundations and trusts who funded our projects.
from incredible individuals, trusts and companies whose
From the many supporters that took part in our fundraising challenges to those who attended our events, supported our campaigns, baked cakes, spread the word about our work â€“ you are all amazing.
The many people who gave donations to us regularly, on
our website, by direct debit or through the post, and the extraordinary people who left a gift in their Will â€“ we are forever grateful for your kindness. Thank you.
58 RBLI SOCIAL IMPACT REPORT
companies who engaged in exciting partnerships with RBLI Our wonderful supporters have made community, independence and opportunity a reality this year.
Without these donations, RBLI could not continue its important work for those in need.
OUR PEOPLE IN 2018/19 PATRON
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent GCVO
Chief Executive Steve Sherry CMG OBE
Director of Strategic Development Lisa Farmer
Viscount de L’Isle MBE Lord Lieutenant of Kent
Director of Corporate Services Philip Defraine
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Director of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company Kate Bull (appointed Jun 2019)
Chairman Stephen Kingsman DL Vice Chairman Frank Martin DL Trustees Brigadier Tony Kerr OBE Nadra Ahmed OBE DL Blair Gulland David Montgomery Des Crampton DL Kathryn Cearns OBE FA FCCA Sarah Mason Alistair Watson
Director of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company Michelle Ferguson Director of Employment Solutions Andy Milton Director of Care and Wellfare Will Campell-Wroe (appointed Feb 2019)
Centenary Village Campaign Patron General Sir Gordon Messenger KCB DSO* OBE - Former Vice Chief of Defence Staff Advisor to RBLI Kate Bosley MSc RGN RSCN Dip of Nursing
AWARDS IN 2018/19 KEiBA 2018 Winner Kent Messenger Charity of the Year 2019 Winner Kent Charity Awards Winner - Large Charity of the Year
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