GARDEN OF HONOUR OFFICIALLY OPENED
CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S MESSAGE The RBLI Community reaches out all across the UK from our fantastic base here in Aylesford. This reach was highlighted in Manchester, where the Nationwide Award for Excellence in Support of Service Leavers was presented to our very own LifeWorks Coach, Shaun Maloney. This award reflects the impact Shaun and the Team have in helping veterans gain independence across the UK and Overseas. In addition, LifeWorks Families is now a key element of the MOD’s families welfare plan.
helping young people back into employment on Talent Match. The success of the first 3 courses held in Chatham, Margate and Hastings has led to requests for us to do more in 2016. In addition, our Work Programme Advisers continue to excel in supporting clients who have health conditions and have been unemployed for over 12 months. RBLI continues to top the league tables with our success across Kent and Sussex. This edition of Warblings clearly highlights the wide range of services available to the RBLI Community.
Closer to home RBLI continue to make enormous investment in improving the Village. On a glorious sunny day in October we enjoyed the official opening of the Garden of Honour with Lieutenant-General
Looking ahead into 2016 and beyond, we have many exciting opportunities for RBLI to do more. Our builders, Jenners, are now on site constructing 24 modern apartments for veterans and their families; our successful Social Enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, will have an official launch in the first half of this year; we eagerly anticipate success in being selected to deliver employment programmes in Kent, Essex and Surrey as part of a range of new European Social Fund Programmes and we are all excited about our wonderful new partnership with HMS Kent commencing in April.
THE RBLI COMMUNITY AIMS TO IMPROVE LIVES BY ENCOURAGING & ASSISTING INDIVIDUALS TO DEVELOP THEIR INDEPENDENCE Andrew Gregory CB stressing the importance of RBLI’s role in the charity sector. Alongside the Garden of Honour we see further investment in improving our Community Services with the newly opened Base Camp, our Community Hub and Cafe opened by Tracey Crouch MP in September. The Garden and Base Camp are wonderful examples of community spirit and cooperation. The RBLI Community aims to improve lives by encouraging and assisting individuals to develop their independence. Often this independence is found through employment. RBLI has once again proved our agility and flexibility in turning our hands to a new programme, when we were invited at short notice to work in partnership with The Prince’s Trust
Our ambition in 2016 is to make a real difference to an increasing number of individuals’ lives. The charity is investing for the future, building strong partnerships with like-minded organisations and seeking innovative solutions to our challenges. All of us in the RBLI Community, volunteers, staff, friends, residents and partner organisations have an enormous opportunity in 2016 to be part of Support For Britain’s Bravest through our ideas, actions and contributions. I look forward to joining you all in another great year for RBLI.
Steve Sherry Chief Executive
GARDEN OF HONOUR The official opening of the transformed Memorial Garden
LifeWorks Trainer wins award for support of service leavers and Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Co. is finalist for Social Enterprise of the Year
BASE CAMP OPENS
Our Community Hub and Café is opened by Tracey Crouch MP
The LifeWorks Team continue to expand their support to even more members of the Armed Forces Community across the country and abroad
WALK OF BRITAIN
Veterans from the Walk of Britain Team visit the Garden of Honour as part of their 1000 mile journey around Britain
The Employment Solutions Team begin to supply Hearing Loops
HMS KENT AFFILIATION The start of a historic affiliation for RBLI with HMS Kent
DAY ON THE RAILWAYS
Our annual David’s Day event for children with disabilities and their carers
Royal British Legion Industries
4 6 8 10
16 21 22
THE GARDEN OFFICIAL
THE TRANSFORMED MEMORIAL GARDEN IS OPENED
£320,000 PROJECT TRANSFORMS GARDEN DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO SERVE 4
We were delighted to officially open the Garden of Honour, a memorial garden dedicated to those who serve, at a glorious ceremony on the 2nd October. RBLI staff, residents, volunteers and others from the local area gathered for the official opening by Lieutenant-General Andrew Gregory CB, who also commenced the transformation by breaking the ground in 2014. The ceremony saw a reading of Herbert Asquith’s ‘The Volunteer’ by WW2 veteran and RBLI resident John Riggs, as well as a performance of the Last Post followed by a 2 minute silence. Veterans from RBLI took pride of place, and local school children sang two songs to celebrate the harvest. RBLI Chaplain, the Reverend Chris Van Straaten, gave a small sermon and led the prayers. Attendees included Tracey Crouch MP, Member of Parliament for Chatham and Aylesford, Mr Leyland Ridings
OF HONOUR OPENING
D BY LIEUTENANT - GENERAL ANDREW GREGORY CB
THE GARDEN IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS A PLACE FOR REFLECTION & A LOCATION FOR EVENTS
MBE of Kent County Council, Brigadier (Ret’d) Tony Kerr OBE, Mr Terry Whittles, the National Vice Chairman of the Royal British Legion, and representatives of key donors including the Hobson Charity, Golding Homes and Centor Insurance. The project was made possible by the incredible generosity of a number of individuals and organisations who helped to raise the £320,000 needed to transform the garden. A range of fundraising events and challenges were undertaken during the year, including two people who cycled from Pegasus Bridge to the Menin Gate and an individual who conquered Europe’s longest zipwire to raise money for the cause! The Garden of Honour is a space now open to the public as a tranquil space for reflection and for people to pay their respects to those who serve, as well as a location for events to take place throughout the year. 5
NATIONAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN SUPPORT OF SERVICE LEAVERS
LIFEWORKS TRAINER WINS NATIONWIDE RESETTLEMENT AWARD FOR SUPPORT
We are delighted that Shaun Maloney, LifeWorks Head Employability Coach & Specialist Trainer, was awarded the Individual Award for Excellence in Support of Service Leavers at the Nationwide Resettlement Awards 2015. Over the past few years Shaun has been responsible for turning around the lives of hundreds of ex-service personnel struggling with unemployment. He has developed, organised and formed part of the delivery team on over 70, five day intensive support courses for delegates. Shaun has gone the extra mile in supporting these men and women. He has been instrumental in increasing the number of LifeWorks courses available and has been part of a team expanding the LifeWorks support to ex-service personnel in prisons. Shaun was surprised and delighted with the win: “I’m overwhelmed with the Award and to have been chosen from so many other dedicated people. As a former member of the Armed Forces, I know how daunting it is when you leave. It’s like leaving your family and sometimes it’s hard to see how your skills and experience fit into civilian life. That’s where we come in, the whole RBLI team. We help our Armed Forces colleagues recognise their potential and when they do, that’s a massive reward in itself.” RBLI Chief Executive, Steve Sherry, said: “We’re extremely proud of Shaun’s achievement. His knowledge and empathy, together with his commitment and creativity in developing the courses to help his fellow veterans, are why he is thoroughly deserving of this Award, and we thank and congratulate him.” We would like to congratulate Shaun on this amazing achievement and look forward to seeing his hard work continue.
FINALISTS FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR
FINALISTS AT LLOYDS BANK NATIONAL BUSINESS AWARDS 2015 AN INSPIRING SPEECH FROM BUZZ ALDRIN
2015 was a great year for RBLI’s Social Enterprise, with record breaking weeks in a number of departments and some good new business won by the teams. It also saw their hard work recognised, when in July RBLI was announced as a finalist for the National Business Awards in the category of Social Enterprise of The Year! The award focused on innovation, growth and ethics and RBLI was one of only 10 finalists. RBLI had to present to judges in September, to a panel which included Deputy CEO of Social Enterprise UK, Nick Temple, and former BBC Breakfast presenter and business journalist, Declan Curry. David Church, who presented alongside Liz Rickaby and Amy Carr, said “The presentation went well. The judges were particularly impressed when we told them about our World Record-breaking construction of the BLOODHOUND SSC from K’NEX.” In November, the team attended the Awards Dinner, which saw an inspiring speech on innovation from Buzz Aldrin, Pilot on Apollo 11 and the 2nd man to walk on the moon. The worthy winner from RBLI’s category was Livity, a Social Enterprise that mentors and works with young people from a broad range of backgrounds to create campaigns, content and communities that benefit the lives of young people. Geoff Streetley, RBLI Director of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Co., said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted in the National Business Awards. The past year has seen us invest in both our people and our equipment and our team have worked incredibly hard and inspired each other to achieve success.” 7
OUR COMMUNITY BASE CAMP OPENED BY TRACEY CROUCH MP £50,000 FROM PEOPLE’S MILLIONS HELPS TO TRANSFORM OLD DOCTOR’S HOUSE INTO COMMUNITY HUB & CAFE 8
Last year, RBLI staff, residents, local school children and others from the local area, including a number of businesses, came together to campaign for money from the Big Lottery Fund as part of the People’s Millions. Their aim? To transform the old Doctor’s House on the Village into a vibrant community hub and café for local people to enjoy. Now, less than one year after we won the £50,000 worth of funding, Base Camp has opened its doors to the public. The 4th September saw an official opening by Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford. Attended by RBLI trustees, local councillors and residents, the event saw speeches from Tracey Crouch as well as RBLI Chairman Stephen Kingsman, before everyone gathered for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake! Base Camp is open to all members of the public and provides a place for members of the local community to get together while offering a great selection of hot and cold drinks and a wide selection of food. As well as a café, Base Camp has community rooms which local residents and clubs can use for free. Community health and wellbeing activities held at Base Camp include IT classes run by local school children and a session run by the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can find copies of the timetable in Base Camp. We also sought to utilise the broad range of expertise and capabilities within RBLI, enlisting the help of our Social Enterprise and Property
HUB & CAFE OPENS BASE CAMP IS OPEN TO ALL, PROVIDING A RANGE OF FOOD & DRINK & SPACE FOR ACTIVITIES
Services Teams to decorate the interior and exterior of the building. The timeline of RBLI’s history located in the main room and the external signs and photographs that decorate the walls were just a few of the elements made by the RBLI Signs Team. Please come and take a look and relax with a coffee and some cake! Base Camp is now open from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturday. The menu includes a variety of sandwiches, baguettes and cakes, as well as hot meals such as soup and jacket potatoes. The team are also able to provide buffet lunches for meetings and events. If you’d like to book a room, find out more or place an order please contact Base Camp on 01622 715 290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winning the funding, transforming the Doctor’s House and opening to the public! 9
LIFEWORKS CONTINUES TO EXPAND SUPPORT ACROSS THE COUNTRY
RECORD YEAR DELIVERING SUPPORT TO EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL
2015 was an extremely successful year for our LifeWorks Team, with a record number of ex-service personnel supported through our employability courses and delivery taking place in a number of new locations across the country. Building on the success of the courses held in Liverpool and Leeds earlier in the year, the Team has continued its effort to reduce unemployment among veterans in the North of England. The courses have been very successful, with the help and support of a number of councils, and referrals coming from a wide range of organisations. At the launch of our South Yorkshire course, the Member of Parliament for Doncaster North, the Rt. Hon Ed Miliband MP, said: “Men and women in the Army, Navy and RAF serve us with dignity and bravery. It is our duty to ensure they are treated with dignity in return, particularly when they are looking for careers after their time with the Armed Forces. That is why I’m supporting the Royal British Legion Industries’ LifeWorks campaign.” We also held courses in Oldham, Stirling, our second course in Liverpool, and several from our site in Aylesford, Kent. Feedback has been very positive, with delegates calling the course “life changing”, “awesome” and “well worth attending”, and delegates moving into work in a range of industries, from manufacturing to security and even charity work. The Team has also continued their work supporting veterans in prisons, with courses delivered in HMP Castle Huntly in Scotland and HMP Haverrig in Cumbria.
With a record year behind us, we would like to thank all of the local councils and organisations that have helped us to deliver support to exservice personnel in their area. We look forward to working with more councils in the coming year and bringing our support to more veterans that are struggling to get into employment.
SUPPORTING MILITARY SPOUSES ACROSS THE UK & ABROAD
EMPLOYABILITY COURSES FOR MILITARY SPOUSES CONTINUE TO GROW
From Episkopi in Cyprus to SHAPE in Belgium and Gutersloh in Germany, the LifeWorks Families Team has had a busy year delivering employability support to the partners and spouses of serving military personnel. The 25 courses that have taken place over the last year have seen over 300 spouses supported towards employment. For many of those that have attended the courses, it has been a life changing experience. Claire, who attended the course in Wimbish said, “I can’t recommend the LifeWorks Families course enough. It has given me so much confidence to change my career and I’m feeling excited for the future. Thank you so much”. We are delighted to be able to continue the delivery of this support throughout 2016 and we look forward to helping more military spouses get into employment in the year ahead.
2016 SET TO BE RECORD YEAR
Following the success of the 2015 programme, the LifeWorks and LifeWorks Families Teams are in ever higher demand. With the 2016 course dates now mostly in place, there are set to be a record number of courses taking place over the next 12 months. From military families in Brunei to ex-service personnel in Newcastle, the Teams will continue to improve people’s lives by delivering employability support to members of the Armed Forces community across the UK and abroad who are looking to get into work. LifeWorks course locations in 2016 include Manchester, Oldham, Essex, Rotherham, Birmingham, Stirling as well as monthly courses at our site in Aylesford, Kent. To view the full schedule of LifeWorks courses for veterans 2016, visit rblilifeworks.co.uk, or visit rblilifeworksfamilies.co.uk for all the LifeWorks Families courses for military spouses and partners. 11
WALK OF BRITAIN
THE TEAM OF EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL VISITED THE GARD
TEAM OF WOUNDED EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL VISIT RBLI
We had the privilege of welcoming six extraordinary ex-Forces personnel to RBLI, when the Walk of Britain Team laid a wreath in honour of those that have served at our Garden of Honour. The inspirational group, who all have devastating injuries as a result of their army duty, visited us on the 67th day of their arduous 1,000 mile Walk of Britain. The walk, which launched in Scotland on August 22, had already seen the group conquer Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, before they arrived to a heroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s welcome on the 71st day at Buckingham Palace on 1 November 2015. The Walk of Britain is the brainchild of charity, Walking With The Wounded, which has organised high profile expeditions to the
N TEAM VISIT RBLI
DEN OF HONOUR ON THEIR 1000 MILE TOUR OF BRITAIN
THE TEAM OVERCAME DEVASTATING INJURIES TO COMPLETE THEIR ARDUOUS JOURNEY
North and South Poles and Everest to showcase the extraordinary determination and immense bravery and courage of wounded exservice men and women. James Rudoni, Director of RBLI Living said: “We are humbled to have this amazing team stop on their 1,000 mile journey to pay their respects at the Garden of Honour. “We have supported ex-forces personnel for nearly one hundred years with housing, welfare, training and employment. We absolutely know how much it means for veterans to push themselves to the limits of their ability and we admire and thank the Walk of Britain Team hugely for letting us be part of that.” 13
BRITAIN’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING CO.
FULFILMENT TEAM RECREATE LONDON SKYLINE FROM K’NEX
TEAM DESIGN & RECREATE FAMOUS LONDON LANDMARKS
Our Fulfilment Team are capable of taking on any challenge when it comes to K’NEX. When we were asked to create a replica model of the London skyline to be displayed in the window of a new toy shop we were more than up to the task! Starting completely from scratch, the Team designed and built scale replicas of some of the most famous London landmarks, including Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the Shard. The Team showed their incredible skill and expertise; assembling the K’NEX models in time for the opening of The Toy Store, a new toy shop in Oxford Street London. The impressive display, pictured above, was seen by thousands of people over the Christmas period.
AT THE FOREFRONT OF SOCIAL VALUE PROVIDING SOCIAL VALUE IN KENT
We were proud to host an event in partnership with Kent County Council and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)
highlighting the importance of Social Value and showcasing how we deliver it across the county and beyond. The event focused on the
inclusion of Social Value as a key consideration in delivering Kent’s Infrastructure Plan.
Amongst the line-up of guest speakers was Alan Taylor from CECA, David Ogden from Amey and also Simon Jones and Toby Cross from Highways England.
Paul Carter, leader of KCC, spoke about the increasing importance of
the Social Value Act in ensuring that companies take it into account
as part of their business practices. A panel discussion also took place, with a chance for attendees to ask questions about creating Social Value through partnerships in Kent and beyond. 14
BRITAIN’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING CO.
BREAKING OUR SALES RECORD AT NATIONAL FRUIT SHOW 2015
£250,000 OF SALES AT NATIONAL FRUIT SHOW 2015
Every year we showcase the Fruit Bins manufactured in our Social Enterprise to key people across the fruit growing industry at the National Fruit Show. This year’s event saw us build on the success of recent years, with a record £250,000 of Fruit Bins being ordered over the two day event. The Show, held at the Detling Showground, brings together the best of British produce and technology and is a key event in the industry calendar. It is a great opportunity for us to highlight how our Fruit Bins, designed with local growers, are not only high quality and competitively priced but provide work for our beneficiaries in our Wooden Products Team. Martin Easterby, our Wooden Products Specialist, was delighted with the outcome of the event, “What a fantastic turn out and show this year. We’re very proud of our high quality Fruit Bins manufactured in our Social Enterprise and want to thank all those customers who have supported us this year and will continue to support us in the future”.
WW1 SIGNS MADE BY OUR VETERANS Rochdale Borough Council were looking to have some special Road Signs manufactured to mark the Centenary of WW1. Who better to take up the task than RBLI? Our Signs Team, working closely with the Council, helped to design and then manufacture the 5 bespoke commemorative signs that marked several key battles that took place during the Great War. Cllr. Richard Farnell, Rochdale Borough Council Leader, said: “RBLI employ people with a disability, health condition or ex-service connection and we are very pleased to support them.” We were delighted to work with Rochdale Borough Council on this project and look forward to working with other councils across the country to help us to continue to support ex-service personnel. 15
PIONEERING THE USE OF HEARING LOOPS IN THE SOUTH EAST
PROVIDING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY TO HELP THOSE WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENTS
Our Employment Solutions Team are always looking for new ways to use their expertise to support people with disabilities. Their most recent innovation has been to offer a Hearing Loop advice and installation service to assist those people with hearing impairments. This assistive technology allows the sound source of interest to be transmitted to the listener clearly and free of other distracting noises. With over 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, Hearing Loops can benefit people across the country, whether it be at work, school or in any public building. The Team have been quick to make the most of this opportunity, having already installed a Hearing Loop at Gravesend Grammar School and trialling the technology with several organisations. They are also aiming to raise awareness among GPs, companies and other educational insitutions across the South of England and beyond.
ACCESS TO WORK SUCCESS CONTINUES DIAGNOSED WITH DYSLEXIA AT 44 & SUPPORTED BY OUR TEAM
One of our Employment Solutions Team’s most recent success stories was that of Lisa Lovell - a senior manager within a local council who wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until she was 44. Our Team gave her an assessment to identify the support that is available to help her fulfil her job. “I had climbed the corporate ladder and was great at coming up with creative concepts to assist others. However, it could take me three times as long as other people to write a report and I didn’t know why. My manager asked if I had ever considered getting tested for dyslexia. After receiving my diagnosis, I had an assessment booked with Lee from RBLI.” “I was nervous before my assessment but Lee was friendly, calm, informative and non-judgemental. He was able to recommed technology to assist me on a day-to-day basis. I know being assessed can be nerve-racking, but my advice is - embrace the process. It really will enhance you as a person, let alone as an employee. I hope others use RBLI assessments to gain access to the tools that can help them unlock their gifts.”
SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE IN KENT & EAST SUSSEX INTO WORK
70% OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO CAME ON THE COURSE IN MARGATE HAVE HAD INTERVIEWS
We continue to support people who are long-term unemployed and have expanded our support to more people in recent years. One of our latest initiatives has seen us deliver training courses to 18-24 year olds on behalf of The Prince’s Trust and Talent Match. The courses, which involve an eight day employability intervention programme designed by the Employment Solutions Team, have been delivered in a number of locations across the South East and have been very successful. The course focuses on confidence building, hands-on activities and e-learning (Maths and English skills for the workplace). As part of the course, participants are also provided with work experience and work taster days in their chosen industry. The training has been delivered in our Work Programme Offices in Chatham and Margate as well as in Hastings. We have received great feedback from those who attended the course. Cain, who attended one of the courses said, “The course has helped me understand the skills needed to complete a job search and how to obtain a job; it has helped me by teaching me to match 6-10 of my key skills to required job skills. It has enabled me to enhance my CV and find my dream job.” We have had over 30 people take part in the courses, with many going on to have interviews with employers and several participants have now received full time positions or apprenticeships.
VILLAGE EVENTS BRING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY TOGETHER
RESIDENTS, STAFF & PUBLIC COME TOGETHER FOR EVENTS ON THE VILLAGE
BASE CAMP & GAVIN ASTOR CHRISTMAS FAYRES DRAW THE CROWDS
With the opening of Base Camp and the usual array of events, the RBLI calendar has been full in recent months, with fireworks, festive fayres and community celebrations. All of these events have helped us to bring the local community together, including children from local schools, our very own residents and staff, as well as the general public. The Gavin Astor House Fireworks Evening kicked off the busy schedule of events with a bang! This annual event saw residents and their families enjoy a terrific fireworks display that could be seen across the entire Village.
During the festive period the events came thick and fast with the first ever Base Camp Christmas Fayre. Those who attended enjoyed a fantastic afternoon of carols, courtesy of the fantastic Shorncliffe Military Wives Choir, and festive treats, supplied by Base Camp. The turnout for this inaugural event was incredible and we would like to thank all of those who made this event such a success. The Gavin Astor House Christmas Fayre swiftly followed, with a range of stalls selling cakes, crafts, toys and gifts, many made by GAH residents. There was also a raffle, tombola and a number of games, topped off by a visit from Santa. All the money from the event will provide funds for additional facilities at the care home as well as outings for residents.
RBLI RESIDENT ATTENDS VJ DAY CELEBRATIONS
QEC RESIDENT & WW2 VETERAN JOHN RIGGS GIVES READING AT HORSE GUARDS PARADE CEREMONY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE & MANY MORE WATCH LIVE ON THE BBC
This year marked the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, the day on which Japan surrendered in WW2, effectively ending the war. A special ceremony was held at Horse Guards Parade, London, to mark the occasion, with veterans and their descendents and families in attendance, including one of our very own residents, John Riggs. Mr Riggs, a WW2 veteran who lives in Queen Elizabeth Court, not only attended the event but gave a reading at the ceremony in front of the thousands of people in attendance. He said the experience of being broadcast live on national television was “nerve-racking”, but that he fully enjoyed the event and was “proud” to have read the sermon in front of all those in attendance, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Prime Minster. During the war, Mr Riggs, served with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment and was part of the legendary Chindits, an Allied Special Forces unit. Their job was to penetrate deep behind enemy lines in Central Burma. He left Burma at the age of 24, having battled malaria as well as enemy forces. Now 95, and having lived on the Village for over 20 years, he is not slowing down, having recently been appointed the Vice President of the Burma Star Association. We were delighted and honoured that one of our most senior residents was part of such a historic ceremony and would like to thank Mr Riggs for his service to the country and continued support of RBLI.
SUPPORT FOR BRITAIN’S BRAVEST
FIRST EVER CHARITY GALA DINNER FOR RBLI
CHARITY GALA DINNER RAISES OVER £5000 TO HELP RBLI IMPROVE LIVES EVERY DAY
We held our first ever Charity Gala Dinner and it was a great success, with over £5000 being raised on the night. The event, held at the Officers’ Mess, Brompton Barracks, provided a great setting for an evening based around the theme of speed. Who better to talk about the subject than the keynote speaker, Ron Ayers MBE, who is the Chief Aerodynamicist for the BLOODHOUND SSC? This is a project particularly close to our hearts following the Fulfilment Team’s World Record breaking construction of a replica of the car from K’NEX last year. The proceeds from the night will go towards improving the lives of those who we support, with a contribution also being made to the Maidstone Alzheimer’s Association, who also helped to organise the event.
NEW VOLUNTEERING MANAGER GROWING OUR VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITIES TO SUPPORT OUR BENEFICIARIES 20
We are delighted to have Andrew Stickells joining us as our new Volunteer Manager. Andrew, who was previously a Talent Match Executive at The Prince’s Trust, will be looking to expand our volunteering activities in order to enhance the support and services we provide to our beneficiaries. The broad range of activities that volunteers are able to undertake at RBLI includes everything from befriending residents in our care facilities to supporting people with disabilities that work in our Social Enterprise. We look forward to seeing the number of volunteers grow across RBLI with Andrew’s arrival.
SUPPORT FOR BRITAIN’S BRAVEST
HISTORIC AFFILIATION WITH HMS KENT TO SUPPORT RBLI
RELATIONSHIP WITH HMS KENT A FIRST IN THE HISTORY OF RBLI
We are delighted to announce that 2016 sees RBLI start an affiliation with HMS Kent – a first for RBLI. We will be keeping in close contact with Commander Dan Thomas and the ship’s company and look forward to welcoming them to Aylesford during this year. With the exception of the 1950s, there has been an HMS Kent afloat in every decade since the first was launched in 1652, with a total of sixteen battle honours to the name. Having been launched in 1998, the current HMS Kent is the twelfth to bear the name and was the first ship to be commissioned in the Royal Navy in the new millennium, hoisting the white ensign for the first time on 8th June 2000. In the last 16 years HMS Kent has broken records in seizing more than £4 million worth of oil and cargo. She has been deployed in the Persian Gulf, the Far East and the Horn of Africa. HMS Kent began Adaptive Force Sea Training, a new concept within the Royal Navy, designed to provide a training platform for junior sailors just beginning their careers within the service. In order to accommodate new sailors under training HMS Kent has been cleared to operate with a minimum ships company of 146 rather than the 180200 officers and ratings who normally man a type 23 frigate – a first for the Royal Navy. This has placed additional emphasis on the men and women on board to be able to multitask, switching effortlessly between completely different roles at a moment’s notice. HMS Kent’s crew have demonstrated their incredible breadth and depth of skills and abilities and will continue to do so throughout 2016. We look forward to strengthening our links with HMS Kent and demonstrate that our work benefits Veterans from all three Services. 21
GREAT DAY OUT ON THE RAILWAY FOR DAVID’S DAY 2015
FUN DAY OUT FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES & THEIR FAMILIES
Every year we provide a day out for local children with disabilities and their families. The event, known as David’s Day, was created in honour of former Director, David Rowlands MBE, who had two passions in life – steam trains and improving the lives of people with disabilities. When he sadly passed away unexpectedly in 2008, RBLI decided to set up a day in his memory and so David’s Day was born! This year’s event saw a return to the railways with a a day out on the Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway for over 30 children,. There was an incredible selection of steam engines, a model railway and the chance to ride on the train. The event ended on a high as we presented cheques to the Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway to show our appreciation for putting on the event totally free of charge, and to Maidstone Special Needs Support Service, who helped us to put on the event, to go towards the great support they provide to children and young people with disabilities.
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
JULIE MARTIN & JENNI TALLA, MAY
JAMES SAMSON JUNE
CLAIRE HUSSEY JULY
NEIL ROBERTS AUGUST
HAYLEY RUSH SEPTEMBER
DEREK CANTELLOW OCTOBER
PAUL SERVANTE NOVEMBER
DAISY GUY DECEMBER
LONG SERVICE AWARDS
We would like to thank all of you for your service to RBLI and for your dedication to improving the lives of those we support.
Edward Tidbury 15 YEARS
Hayley Rush Janet Johnstone Philip Defraine
Steve Hammond Alex Brimson Jane Holden
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RBLI CHARITY NUMBER 210063