LIFEWORKS NAMED A SHINING EXAMPLE
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY SOCIAL
HEATHER STANNING TO RUN LONDON MARATHON
Steve Sherry Chief Executive CMG OBE
As we move into 2017, I am pleased to record the tremendous steps forward Royal British Legion Industries has taken in delivering our 10 year plan of Improving Lives Every Day. We have seen the successful implementation to increase the national footprint for our employment support programme, LifeWorks. This followed an independent evaluation by the Learning and Work Institute which showed that LifeWorks supports 83% of its ex-Armed Forces participants into employment, training or volunteering within 12 months. Considering the difficulties some ex-serviceman and women face following their return to civilian life, we are immensely proud of this result. When considering that 4 out of 5 LifeWorks participants also have a disability, mental or physical health condition, the success of LifeWorks is even more remarkable, and has rightly attracted attention to see how it might be delivered to the wider population. You can read more about this on page 4. Equally, the great work done by our social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, (BBMC), has garnered significant attention. In December, BBMC hosted Penny Morduant MP, the Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, who witnessed first-hand the wide-range of work we are doing to help halve the disability employment gap – a primary target of RBLI. Rob Wilson MP, The Secretary of State for Civil Society, also visited RBLI to discuss both the potential expansion of LifeWorks, and BBMC’s participation in the #BuySocial campaign which aims to encourage commercial organisations to procure from social enterprises. You can read more about their visits on page 8. Our Employment Solutions division starts 2017 with a wide range of new contracts beginning delivery across Kent and Sussex. Collectively these programmes will see us supporting more than 1,500 more people towards sustainable work, in addition to our already successful delivery on Access to Work and the Work Programme. On our village in Aylesford we look forward to welcoming 24 new residents into our soon to be finished apartments tailored specifically for Veterans with a disability, illness or injury. We hope to celebrate with a VIP opening in late spring/early summer. These high quality apartments are the cornerstone of our ambitious plans for a high quality Centenary Village with expanded and improved care facilities and accommodation. These great improvements are in no doubt due to the hard work of the whole RBLI team, who redouble their efforts with each passing year as they strive to help those most in need. We remain focussed on supporting both Veterans, and others from the wider community, to find independence. We want to continue to achieve success through collaborative working with other organisations, increasing our numbers of volunteers so we can support more people, and by continually developing so that together we can meet the needs of the people we support today and into tomorrow. I welcome letters from individuals who believe they may benefit from our work, and also from those who already have, so please do not hesitate to write to me at RBLI, Hall Road, Aylesford, ME20 7NL or contact us through social media: find us on Facebook as Royal British Legion Industries, and via twitter @RBLI. 2
Royal British Legion Industries
LIFEWORKS EVALUATION REPORT
HIGH PROFILE VISITORS
RBLI IN THE PRESS
24 VETERANSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; APARTMENTS
ON THE VILLAGE
QUEEN ELIZABETH COURT
A GIFT OF LEGACY
BE BRAVE WITH ME
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
VOLUNTEERING WITH RBLI
Royal British Legion Industries 3
LIFEWORKS NAMED A SHINING EXAMPLE
ollowing the creation of LifeWorks in 2011, RBLI has seen the Veteran employment support programme go from strength to strength. This past year, however, has been of particular importance in its development and success. October saw government representatives, researchers and former members of the Armed Forces meet at the House of Commons to witness the launch of an independent evaluation of LifeWorks. The report, completed in collaboration with the Learning and Work Institute, showcased the outstanding achievements it has made since its formation. The evaluation concluded that the employment outcomes for attendees of LifeWorks were hugely positive, with the majority of individuals in employment at 26 and 52 weeks following completion of the course. This is without doubt a reflection of the fantastic support given by the trainers on the intensive course, as well as the ‘reachback’ each attendee receives for 12 months after completing the course. The evaluation also suggested that LifeWorks appears to perform considerably better than other employment programmes which are aimed at individuals with health, mental health conditions or disabilities. Members of Parliament and representatives from the House of Lords and No.10 were among those who attended the launch. They heard from previous LifeWorks attendees who had overcome barriers such as injury and drug abuse. With the success of LifeWorks now confirmed, RBLI continued with its aim of expanding the programme and in November held a similar event at the Welsh Assembly to launch LifeWorks in Wales. In the Welsh population, 1 in 20 has served in the Armed Forces and RBLI will now look to support more Veterans in the area, with a number of courses already planned.
Steve Sherry said: “It is important that no Veteran is left behind – we want to reach more ex-service personnel, faster, so that not only can they live a full, independent life, but employers can also take advantage of the fantastic skills they have to offer.”
“RBLI is committed to halving the disability employment gap” RBLI’s Chief Executive Steve Sherry
“This programme is a shining example – a beacon – of what good work in the community is.” Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales Ann Jones
Greg Beck was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012. After leaving the Army, Greg had worked in joinery, but he was forced to stop after a knee injury. He attended LifeWorks in August 2015 in Doncaster and within three months he had started his own company, designing and building kitchens and bathrooms. He also volunteers as a prison visitor. “It got to the point where I was so depressed, I questioned why I was here,” says Beck. “Leaving the Army was hard for me and the years that followed were full of challenges, which were made worse by my injury. I did dead-end work, I did things I should not have done, and as a result I had gaps in my life that were hard to explain. It was difficult to get a job.” After being near rock-bottom, he went on the LifeWorks programme and quickly turned his life around. “LifeWorks gave me the support to take the plunge and start my own company,” he adds. “I am now more confident because I know I am good at what I am doing and I get such positive feedback”. LifeWorks helped Greg turn his life around in the space of just a few months. “LifeWorks encourages you to look at yourself through someone else’s eyes,” he says. “If I were to look at myself as though I was somebody else, what would I advise myself to do? As such, you come up with your own answers. When I decided to start up my business, I didn’t want support – I wanted to see if I could do it myself. And I did.” Following the success of LifeWorks with Veterans like Greg, RBLI are now looking to develop the course for the wider community. The evaluation by the Learning and Work Institute showed that LifeWorks had achieved success when 4 in 5 of the Veterans who had attended had a disability or health condiiton, therefore RBLI now plan to develop the programme for other people across the UK with mental and physical disabilities and health conditions. 6
1/2 RBLI WANTS TO USE LIFEWORKS TO HALVE THE DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT GAP
OF ALL PARTICIPANTS MOVE INTO EMPLOYMENT, TRAINING OR VOLUNTEERING WITHIN A YEAR
EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL SUPPORTED THROUGH LIFEWORKS TO DATE
79% OF ALL PARTICIPANTS LIVE WITH A DISABILITY, HEALTH CONDITION OR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION
OF THE WELSH POPULATION HAVE SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES 7
MINISTERS PRAISE WORK OF RBLI MINISTER FOR DISABLED PEOPLE, WORK AND HEALTH PENNY MORDAUNT
RBLI was pleased to have a high-profile visit in December from Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt MP. The Minister toured Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) and witnessed first-hand the wide range of work RBLI are doing to help halve the disability employment gap – a primary target of both Penny Mordaunt and RBLI. The Minister toured alongside Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch who, having visited before, was also eager to see the progress that had been made in recent months. Around the factory Penny and Tracey spoke to number of the team including Judy Barsby, Nathan Butcher, Graham Cherry and Steve Hammond. The team showcased their great work assemblying display
models for K’NEX, and even presented Penny with a special sign made for her and her team at DWP. Penny and Tracey also welcomed a discussion with the senior management team on how the success and potential expansion of LifeWorks for those with disabilities and health conditions could contribute to halving the gap. Penny Mordaunt commented: “The number of disabled people in work has increased by almost 600,000 over the past three years. But much more needs to be done to create equal opportunities in the workplace. That’s why schemes like this are so important. We owe our Armed Forces a huge debt and it’s great to see the work of RBLI supporting them and others to reach their full potential.”
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY, ROB WILSON MP
In October, RBLI hosted Secretary of State for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, to discuss the success of LifeWorks and showcase the work of their pioneering social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC). The MP for Reading East was eager to discuss RBLI’s participation in the #BuySocial campaign – a campaign launched by Social Enterprise UK (see article on page 8) which challenged the nation to think about where they buy their goods and services from, and the potential social impact of those purchasing decisions. RBLI’s social enterprise, BBMC is proud to have become a leading figure in the Buy Social movement. It currently employs 110 people – over 60% of whom have a physical or mental disability/health condition – and produces £5m worth of products each year,
including road and rail signs, wooden products and print and mail. BBMC has two factories – one in Aylesford, Kent and one in Leatherhead, Surrey. Their customers include Network Rail, Highways England, Knauf, Carillion and a number of councils across the country. Rob Wilson said “It is great to see a social enterprise flourishing, winning contracts and delivering them to a high standard.“ RBLI’s Chief Executive Steve Sherry was delighted to have shown the Ministers around the BBMC Kent factory in 2016. He said it is important to highlight the decisive efforts of the teams to reach the charity’s target of halving the disability employment gap. He believes RBLI must work closely with the Department of Work and Pensions; and whether it is by directly employing those with disabilities through RBLI’s social enterprise, or supplying individuals with the help to gain employment through the wide variety of support programmes, RBLI will continue to redouble its efforts to achieve its goals.
ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TIME TO BUY SOCIAL
RBLI is backing a campaign created by Social Enterprise UK, which aims to challenge the nation to consider where they buy their goods and services, and the potential impact those purchases can have on society. The flagship campaign, Buy Social, highlights the huge benefits that arise from consumers choosing to purchase from social enterprises (businesses devoted to immediately reinvesting their profits to help various areas of society, whether that be helping the homeless community, ensuring ethical trading standards or tackling environmental issues). 10
In April last year, Social Enterprise UK looked to bolster the campaign by forming the ground-breaking Corporate Challenge. The challenge, which is the first for the sector, aims to see a group of high-profile businesses spend an astonishing ÂŁ1 billion with social enterprises by 2020. As a charity that runs a successful social enterprise, Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC), RBLI recognises first-hand the benefits that such a structure can bring. BBMC currently employs more
‘BBMC currently employs more than 100 people; 71% of whom have a military service connection and/or disability’
than 100 people; 71% of whom have served in the forces and/or have a disability. This is something the charity is tremendously proud of, as by providing employment to ex-service personnel and people with disabilities or health conditions, BBMC helps them to develop the necessary skills to increase their independence.
great products. BBMC creates products for a variety of customers including Network Rail, K’NEX and Highways England. Since 2012, BBMC has seen a 72% growth in sign sales, proving that social enterprises can not only benefit those they employ, but can also grow rapidly and become highly-productive and successful industry leaders.
However, RBLI also recognises that for such a structure to be successful it not only needs to support those who can benefit from the work on offer, but also produce
To find out more about the work of BBMC, or if you are interested in becoming a customer, please visit www.britainsbravestmanufacturing.org.uk 11
SCHOOL CHILDREN SEND LETTERS OF THANKS As part of an ongoing plan to reach out to the wider community, Royal British Legion Industries welcomed pupils from Maidstone’s Shernold School during British Values Week in December. The children arrived at RBLI ready to learn of the charity’s deep, rich history of helping ex-servicemen and women since its formation in 1919. The pupils toured Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company and learnt about the various products manufactured by the social enterprise including wooden products, road and rail signs, as well as the model building of K’NEX toys done as part of its fulfilment service. This was shortly followed by a wreath laying ceremony in the Garden of Honour, and
a short history lesson by RBLI’s LifeWorks Progression Advisor, Roger Leeder. Following the visit, many children sent letters of thanks, remembering Roger’s inspiring speech. One read: “Thanks to Roger who told us all about World War I and World War II. Roger himself was in the Navy. He told us about a house in the garden that used to be a hospital in the war. It was for soldiers that had a disease called tuberculosis.” RBLI enjoyed welcoming the children of Shernold School to its premises and look forward to showcasing its hard work and great history to many more schools in the New Year.
RBLI FEATURE IN THE TIMES Since the previous issue of Warblings, Royal British Legion Industries has featured numerous times in the press, across a range of platforms, no doubt due to its ever-increasing hard work and presence on both the local and the national charity stage. RBLI’s #BeBraveWithMe campaign was launched at the very top of the O2 in London after it had been scaled by ex-servicemen and women and double Olympic gold medal winner Major Heather Stanning of The Royal Artillery. The stunt reached an astonishing audience of approximately half a million people, featuring everywhere from local radio stations to national newspapers including The Express and The Guardian. December saw Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company feature in The Times Newspaper in their ‘At The Coalface’. They described BBMC as a “thriving social
enterprise“ and interviewed Metal Shop Team Leader Colin Pavey about his experience working there. Colin, who served in the Queen’s Regiment for 5 years and lost his arm in a motorcycle accident said “I talk about my life after the accident as my second life. Without this job I’d have probably lived on benefits.“ Secretary of State for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP’s visit brought with it the attention of several Kent publications, while Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health Penny Mordaunt MP’s visit was covered by ITV Meridian who broadcast a piece in their 6 o’clock news programme. RBLI’s coverage in the press is a testament to the continuous hard work of every single individual within the charity, each of whom has a clear, common goal: to ensure that those who can be helped by RBLI, are. 13
EXTRAORDINARY HOMES FOR EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE 24 brand new specialised apartments, tailored specifically to meet the needs of Veterans who experience disability, illness or injury and are in need of accommodation, are due to be completed in Spring 2017.
Covenant LIBOR Fund. RBLI’s Head of Estates Development, James Mulroy, called the 24 apartments ‘an exciting new opportunity to support Veterans back to independent living’.
RBLI’s property has evolved dramatically over the last 100 years. Built on the former Preston Hall site between the M20 north and the A20 south, in Kent, the charity holds approximately 70 acres of land. There are now 82 homes for ex-service personnel on their village, including both houses and flats, and this latest development will be a welcome addition.
RBLI already provides specialised nursing and care accommodation in the Village to those who need it. However, these apartments will provide accommodation to Veterans who, although not in need of care, may need specialised facilities to help them lead productive, mobile and active lives following the end of their service.
Situated on Hermitage Lane near Maidstone, just outside the Royal British Legion Village, the apartments are individually adapted for ex-service personnel who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or have specific requirements due to a disability or health issues. The apartments are located alongside RBLI’s original cottages which were built to house First World War Veterans and their families. The project started back in late 2015 when RBLI was awarded £1.95 million from the Armed Forces
RBLI is extremely committed to making a difference to the lives of Veterans who are struggling to find a home and specialist welfare support will also be available, along with potential employment opportunities. The charity aims to introduce those living in the apartments to the the wider village community, where a range of amenities are available including RBLI’s community hub and café, Base Camp. If you are a Veteran looking for a home, please email email@example.com or phone 01622 795910
RBLI ANNOUNCES CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA PLANS As RBLI continues to expand on a national scale, it also looks to further develop its Village in Kent and offer more services to the local community there. After the opening of the Base Camp hub and café in the heart of the Village in 2015, residents have not only enjoyed plenty of homemade cakes and sandwiches, but found a place they can meet regularly to build relationships with the wider community, and take part in community health and wellbeing activities. As part of the Village’s development, plans are now well underway for a new children’s play area to be situated outside of Base Camp, due to be complete by Summer 2017. RBLI hopes this development will encourage more families in the area to visit the Village, allowing even better connections with the Aylesford community.
The project has been given the green light due to the support and encouragement of many organisations and institutions, as well as the Ministry of Defence Community Integration Team. RBLI has also recently been successful in the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, proudly winning the top prize of £12,000 in the local in-store vote. When considering that the Village draws an average of over 1,450 visitors per month, with 25% of visitors being families during the school holidays, the playground will – without doubt – prove to be a welcome addition. If you are interested, or know any companies who would love to support the project, please contact Jemma Gowland on 01622 795988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 15
NEW QEC MANAGER AIMS FOR EXCELLENCE Queen Elizabeth Court (QEC), RBLI’s assisted living residential block for Veterans on the Royal British Legion Village, was delighted to welcome new residential manager, Lynda Smith, to its premises early December. However although new to the role, Lynda is certainly not new to QEC. Lynda began working at RBLI as a carer, tending to the needs of residents, before becoming a team leader, and more recently the residential manager. She recognises that the most important thing for the 55 residents at QEC, who range from their early 70s to their early 100s, is that the transition into her tenure is smooth. Following this, gradual subtle changes can be made to ensure the care provided is nothing short of excellent. “I’ve been here for many years - from working on the shop floor, so to speak - so it was easy for the residents as they didn’t have to get used to anyone else. It was 16
a nice, peaceful change for them, which is always what we aim for.” Although QEC provides assisted living (depending on the resident’s specific care package), Lynda and the rest of her team do their best to offer opportunities to the residents that they may not otherwise have access to, helping to avoid any possible social isolation. For example, residents have previously been involved in the Not Forgotten Association’s garden party, held at Buckingham Palace. Although the residential home currently has a CQC rating of ‘Good’, QEC has big plans for the future. “Our aim is to support our residents to live as independently as possible,” Lynda says. “We provide an excellent service here at Queen Elizabeth Court and we are always aiming to go above and beyond to achieve a rating of excellent in our inspection.”
CREATING A LEGACY Having been established for nearly 100 years, Royal British Legion Industries can look back with remarkable depth and see what the charity has achieved over the course of its life. RBLI has supported countless Veterans back into sustained work, given homes to ex-service personnel and their families, and aided those with disabilities who may have otherwise struggled to find their place in life. Beginning as Industrial Settlements, RBLI began its life with the ownership of Preston Hall, Aylesford, where it provided supportive care to servicemen of the First World War who returned home, ill with tuberculosis. In 1925, Industrial Settlements was acquired by the Royal British Legion, with whom it still shares its name, before separating and developing its own offices and factories. Ever since then RBLI has established its own aims, desires and commitments, developing a culture within the charity which encourages the belief that through its work, it can improve the lives of individuals on a daily basis. However, as with every charity RBLIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future relies, in part, on the goodwill of others who are eager to help support the cause. RBLI looks to encourage those who have supported its aims to help continue the services it offers through legacy giving. Legacy giving allows RBLI to sustain its services in the future, with the hope that these services can continue for many years to come. The gifts left by legacies, for which RBLI are forever grateful, can change the lives of Veterans, both young and old. It can allow for younger Veterans who having been discharged â&#x20AC;&#x201C; perhaps with a disability â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to receive employment support, helping them to sustain a job and feel reconnected with society. It can help RBLI to continue creating innovative programmes designed to help Veterans realise their skills, giving them a smoother transition to the civilian world. A legacy gift can also enable the charity to improve the life of an elderly Veteran, who after years of service, lives on its Aylesford Village where they are cared for by talented and supported staff. If you would like to find out more about Royal British Legion Industries and how your gift might help Armed Forces Veterans and their families, contact Emma Nugent on 01622 795961, email: email@example.com and visit: www.supportforbritainsbravest.org.uk
INVALUABLE SUPPORT TO THOUSANDS MORE 18
‘THE VOCATIONAL ASSESSMENTS WILL BE INVALUABLE IN HELPING INDIVIDUALS TO UNDERSTAND HOW BEST TO USE THEIR SKILLS’
RBLI’s Employment Solutions has secured three new contracts allowing them to deliver support programmes to more than 1,500 people who are in need of sustained employment. The first of the contracts, which is aimed at people who have been unable to sustain work in the past, will see Employment Solutions working in the most deprived local communities where unemployment levels are high. Vocational Assessors will explore any challenges participants may have which can impact their ability to sustain employment. These challenges can include a general lack of skills, inappropriate work choices, housing and finance problems, and underlying health conditions. Often, a person’s struggles to sustain employment relate to unsuitable career choices, and therefore the vocational assessments will be invaluable in helping individuals to understand how best to use their skills. The programme will be intensive, with ongoing assessment throughout, and will involve creating a personalised action plan to maximise the participant’s potential for securing sustainable work. A personal development programme, the Chrysalis Programme, will also be available. It will aim to encourage participants to adopt a solution focused approach, building resilience, increasing confidence and motivation to improve their work opportunities. The second secured contract will aim to provide intensive and ongoing practical employment support for those who are disadvantaged by longterm health issues or disabilities, ensuring they can move into sustainable volunteering, education, training or employment.
400 people starting in Chatham and Medway and then entering Tonbridge and Maidstone, where a projected 1,000 people will be supported. The project aims to develop, test, and evaluate a way to provide specific support to people with disabilities or long-term illnesses, helping them to access the labour market. Uniquely, referrals to this programme will be made by GPs, health and care specialists as well as voluntary sector organisations such as Possibility People, South East Network of Disabled People’s Organisations (SENDPO), or Action for Blind People. Finally, the third contract will utilise a ‘place and train’ approach, providing in-work support to participants to help them sustain their employment. It will deliver ‘in work’ support which meets the needs of the individual supporting them in managing their health condition and building their confidence in the workplace. Specialist interventions and support will be made available through the programme which will address issues which may put at risk sustainable paid employment in the longer term. Depending on the participant’s position, they may also be entitled to various services including the use of occupational therapists, ‘Stay Active’ programmes designed to support condition management and confidence building. There will also be specialist support available for those with mental health, domestic violence, substance and alcohol abuse, caring responsibilities and more.
The ‘Let’s get working, long term health and disability’ project will allow RBLI to engage with 19
FIRST EVER FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES
Mid-September saw Royal British Legion Industries reach a new milestone as it launched its first ever fundraising campaign, Be Brave With Me, which encouraged people to take on a brave challenge and raise funds to support the brave men and women who have served in the Forces. The national campaign was launched at dizzying heights atop the O2 in London, where double Olympic champion Major Heather Stanning of the Royal Artillery â&#x20AC;&#x201C; along with a courageous group of ex-servicemen and women â&#x20AC;&#x201C; scaled the 170ft building to mark the beginning of the campaign. Having reached the top,
Heather spoke fondly of the campaign’s aim to tackle the issues faced by many following their service in the Armed Forces, before asking the public to get behind the initiative and show their support. Following the launch, the public were invited to ‘be brave’ and take on a challenge that they consider to be courageous, whether that be overcoming a phobia, running a marathon or doing a skydive. People then uploaded videos of themselves completing their challenge with the hashtag #BeBraveWithMe before nominating three friends to take on their own gutsy task. Heather nominated 47 Regiment Royal Artillery
of the British Army and Scott Meenagh of GB Rowing to take on their own #BeBraveWithMe challenge. Britain’s Bravest will be holding events throughout the 12 months following the launch, continuing to challenge people to be brave and see their videos and photos featured on the #BeBraveWithMe website and social media pages. To find out more about the campaign visit: www.bebravewithme.org.uk, or follow the campaign on Facebook, www.facebook.com/BeBraveWithMe and Twitter, @BritainsBravest.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Representatives from the charitable and political sectors, along with friends and trustees of RBLI, were warmly welcomed to the Capel Morris Centre for the charity’s 91st annual general meeting where attendees celebrated the success of the past year’s delivery of the new strategy and looked forward to the year ahead. To an audience of 50, RBLI Chief Executive, Steve Sherry, gave a presentation based on the four philosophies that lie at the very heart of RBLI: invest, inspire, innovate and influence. These principles guide RBLI in every decision made – evident not only in what has been achieved in the past 12 months but also the plans for the future. RBLI invests, not only in the people supported but also in the on-site Village, which has grown exponentially since 1919. RBLI inspires, giving those who believe they are no longer suited for employment the
support and guidance they need to find work. RBLI innovates; by evaluating their Veteran employment programme, LifeWorks, and evolving this for the wider disabled community. Finally, RBLI influences, playing a key role in the Government’s ambition of halving the disability employment gap. RBLI aims to build on these proven successes; to grow and further develop the array of services on offer, integrating modern facilities and collaborative and innovative programmes, as well as expanding the charity’s national reach. Steve closed his presentation by thanking the countless businesses and other charities that have collaborated with RBLI over the past 12 months, during which time more than 10,000 people have been supported.
ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET
MANUFACTURER’S TOP 100 EXCEPTIONAL INDIVIDUAL Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company’s Team Leader Steve Hammond has been rewarded for almost 20 years of committed service to the manufacturing industry by being named one of The Manufacturer’s Top 100.
Steve joined the Welsh Guards at the age of 21 and in 1982 served on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands war where he sustained an injury which would have great impact on his life. He found himself medically discharged, moving from job to job, struggling to establish a foothold in life. Steve’s fortune changed when RBLI first helped him organise an operation which would revitalise his life, and then go on to offer him a job at BBMC, in its Kent factory. Since then, Steve has established himself as a vital and respected role model within BBMC, and now the entire manufacturing industry.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR
It’s been an good year for Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) who, in late November, were shortlisted by Social Enterpise UK for Social Enterprise of the Year. Representatives of BBMC attended the awards in London.
RBLI’s Head of Workplace Psychology Sharon Patmore was recognised for her individual excellence in November as she found herself amongst 28 finalists for the Exceptional Individual Award at the Perry’s Exceptional Awards 2016 held at Leeds Castle, Kent. Sharon was instrumental in the development of RBLI’s LifeWorks programme, and now works to develop other innovative pilots to help people into work. Sharon said: “It was an absolute surprise and a pleasure to have been nominated for this award. However, I can only achieve what I do with the support and encouragement from everyone across RBLI including my colleagues and all those delivering great services in the wider community.”
CELEBRATING DAVID’S DAY Children from Maidstone Special Needs Support Service helped support our Be Brave with Me campaign by holding reptiles and birds of prey! This took place on David’s Day - a special day organised in memory of David Rowlands MBE, a former Director at RBLI.
Around 400 guests, who were entertained by comedian and television presenter, Nish Kumar, filled the Grand Connaught Rooms to see more than 80 of the UK’s most innovative social enterprises entered into 12 categories. BBMC were also shortlisted in the Manufacturing MX Awards in the Customer Focus and Leadership & Strategy categories. It was a great honour for BBMC to be shortlisted for such prestigious awards, and reflects the hard work of the teams in Aylesford and Leatherhead over the past year.
EVENTS CALENDAR 18 FEB
BUNGEE JUMP LONDON/MANCHESTER Take the 160ft plunge and join Britain’s Bravest in bungee jumps all across the UK. We have opportunities for single and tandem bungee jumps at a date and location to suit you! REGISTRATION £60
SPARTAN SPRINT KENT The Reebok Spartan Sprint is perfect for athletes of all levels; from Spartan first timers to seasoned racers. The 3-5 mile sprint may be the shortest distance, but it packs in more than 20 Signature Spartan Obstacles. If you think you can’t do it, you’re wrong. Get to the starting line and show yourself what you are cabable of! REGISTRATION £40
HACKNEY HALF MARATHON LONDON Lace up for a flat run through the streets of Hackney. The half marathon starts in Hackney Marshes and takes you on a fast route through Hackney. Breeze your way past the famous Hackney Empire. Pick up the pace at Broadway Market. Stretch your legs alongside London fields. Finally, make your way back to Hackney Marshes for your hero’s welcome and epic finish! REGISTRATION £30
SUPERHERO RUN LONDON Join our team of heroes in this super family fun run that even the dog can take part in! All runners receive a free costume or can dress as their favourite! Whether it’s Batman or Wonder Woman – you decide! With various routes from 5km to 10km, and even 200m for the little ones, there is no better way to spend your weekend than in a cape. REGISTRATION £15
SKYDIVE WORLD RECORD SALISBURY/PETERBOROUGH For an adrenaline rush like no other and an unforgettable experience, join hundreds of people breaking the world record for the amount of people taking on the 12,000ft skydive in one day! REGISTRATION £75
THE GAUNTLET GAMES LONDON
The Gauntlet Games is a hilarious obstacle course. Run 5k or 10km while taking on a series of giant inflatables, slides, foam, swings and real Gladiators. The race is all about fun - it’s a challenge, but we can guarantee you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face. REGISTRATION £20
Double Olympic gold medallist, Major Heather Stanning will be running the London Marathon for Support for Britain’s Bravest on April 23rd 2017. Heather aims to raise a grand total of £5,000 for the charity, in addition to her help to launch the #BeBraveWithMe campaign late last year. Following her retirement from British rowing in 2016, Heather wanted to take part in a challenge outside of her comfort zone, having never run the London Marathon before.
A YEAR TO #IMPROVELIVES This year Royal British Legion Industries are launching a new campaign to find volunteers across the county who can help to support Armed Forces Veterans, disabled people and the wider community over the next year.
Kate spent the following weeks on a ventilator which kept her alive. “They told my family that I may die – or, at least, that it was unlikely I would ever regain consciousness,” she said.
The #improvelives campaign looks to build on the success of 2016, which saw the number of active volunteers sky-rocket, rising from 30 at the beginning of the year to the current total of 110. This year alone volunteers at RBLI have given over 7,000 hours to support those in need.
Before the accident, Kate’s career had gone from strength to strength and after joining Heart of Kent Hospice not long after it opened in 1991 as a nurse on the ward, she later returned as Clinical Manager in the Inpatient Unit, before being appointed Chief Executive in 2007. Kate’s involvement had been a key influence in the development of the Hospice throughout the years.
However, RBLI believes that there are still more people out there who can make a huge difference to people’s lives, and has pledged to double the number of volunteers in 2017 – making it their biggest year yet for volunteering. RBLI offers the chance to volunteer in a variety of roles, from befriending, manufacturing, and employment advice all the way through to office support. RBLI is passionate about not only helping volunteers make the most out of their skills and experiences, but making sure that volunteering is a mutually beneficial relationship. With tremendous success in increasing the number of active volunteers over the past year, RBLI looks forward to welcoming many more volunteers in 2017.
Kate has been a keen cyclist all her life. Her passion and commitment to the sport led to her competing in 2014’s Time Trial Series, The Best British All-Rounder, in which she finished an impressive 10th place. Encouraged by her success, she enlisted the help of a professional coach with the ambition of finishing within the top six. With her new coach along with her ambitious goal, Kate undertook an intensive training course in Tenerife, only to be faced with the unimaginable – a lifechanging accident. Because of the damage to her memory, Kate has had to rely on the testimony of others to piece together the events that led to her accident. She said: “I now know we were on a cycling training week. Although I wasn’t training at the time of my accident, I was on my bike. I’m told I wasn’t going fast at all. “The others heard a terrible crash. They looked around knowing I was behind them to see me unconscious on the floor. Initially, I wasn’t completely out but eventually I had stopped breathing. I was told some time later I was resuscitated by local paramedics.” 26
Due to the nature of the injuries Kate had sustained in the cycling accident, it was unlikely she would ever resume her position as Chief Executive at the Hospice. After months of intensive rehabilitation, Kate slowly began to show signs of recovery and her desire to return to a normal life had grown. “All the time, I had this strong passion to get back to who I was – I had worked incredibly hard to get to where I was before the accident. So I felt like I just needed to do something. That’s where RBLI stepped in. “They told me ‘if you feel well enough to come by bus across town by yourself, then come in and say hello and just have a cup of tea with us’. That’s how it started. “Within a month I was packing jam in a factory. It was only for 10 minutes but I cannot stress how important that was for me. I didn’t have to be supported by anyone.” Kate has now volunteered with RBLI for three years, and is a familiar face around its Aylesford headquarters. In addition to her regular volunteering, Kate sits on the Board of Trustees and is involved in all of the important decisions and future direction of the charity. “There are all sorts of reasons why volunteering may be useful for you,” Kate admits. “I know my story is only one of them but there are thousands out there. I think there are many people who, like me, can benefit from volunteering. You don’t have the same commitments as you might have in a job but you can still do a good job, at your own pace, and still be useful.” “I think volunteering, and in particular RBLI, have both had a tremendous impact on my recovery.” Find out more about how to volunteer at: www.supportforbritainsbravest.org.uk/page/volunteering
SHOP TO SUPPORT BRITAIN’S BRAVEST Support for Britain’s Bravest is extremely excited to announce the launch of its online store! The online store features a collection of brand-new merchandise including Support for Britain’s Bravest t-shirts, hoodies, and miniature teddy bears. Throughout the next six months the store will be introducing more and more products. To see the full range of products available visit: www.supportforbritainsbravest.org.uk
SHOP TODAY AT www.supportforbritainsbravest.org.uk
RBLI CHARITY NUMBER 210063