Warblings first issue 2019

Page 1


RBLI 100



Celebrating our 100 years of support since 1919 p.4

Another 100 years of veteran care p.10

Veterans took on the Lord Dannatt Challenge p.24





Hall Road

Aylesford ME20 7NL

WELCOME One hundred years ago this year, a small group of visionaries developed the idea for a

village which would offer a lifeline to the many thousands returning from the First World

01622 795900

marketing@rbli.co.uk rbli.co.uk

ADVERTISING marketing@rbli.co.uk

War. A village which, irrespective of disability or condition, veterans could call their home, live peacefully, and move towards greater independence.

In 2019, RBLI celebrates 100 years of that very village, and the mass expansion of our services since, all of which had a phenomenal impact on the lives of thousands of our beneficiaries.

FUNDRAISING FOR US Contact fundraising@rbli.co.uk Mon to Fri 9am-5:30pm

Over this past year alone, we have seen our social enterprise for veterans Britain’s

Bravest Manufacturing Company support two significant national commemoration campaigns, helping the social enterprise reach a turnover of almost £6m.

Our transformational employment support programme LifeWorks has also now reached 1,200 veteran participants, having only established in 2014. This is an astonishing

achievement particularly with 83% of those on the course moving into employment,

VOLUNTEER FOR US Contact volunteer@rbli.co.uk Mon to Fri 9am-5:30pm

volunteering or training within 12 months.

Last year also saw our Employment Solutions± division, which provides crucial


Department for Work and Pensions for their performance in helping disabled people

Contact fundraising@rbli.co.uk

employment support to those outside the military space, receive direct praise from the stay in work.

Mon to Fri 9am-5:30pm

However, despite our many recent successes and as crucial as introspection is at

this great time, it is important that we continue looking outwardly as we enter our

centenary year - a mode of thought which has enabled RBLI to change the lives of so many individuals over the past 100 years.

Throughout 2019, we will continue to build upon the strong relationship we have

developed with our local Kent community, whether that’s the local firms who provide us with immense support through fundraising and business for our factory, or the county’s residents who flock in vast numbers to volunteer their time to support our services. Looking further afield, we will endeavour to collaborate further with our friends

across the public and private sectors - as well as military charity community - in order

to help us continue on our path to improve lives every day. Our new social enterprise, Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company will also be formally opened this year.

It is this ongoing collaboration which has enabled us to launch the most ambitious

project in our 100-year history - the RBLI Centenary Village - featured within this issue of Warblings.

Steve Sherry CMG OBE Chief Executive

BECOME A FRIEND OF RBLI Contact enquiries@rbli.co.uk Mon to Fri 9am-5:30pm




Showing our 100 years of support RBLI CENTENARY VILLAGE








Building a basis of care for another century

The largest backing in their 60-year history

RBLI’s latest social enterprise

The same ethos, care and support but now with a 21st Century twist VISITORS




Thank you to those who visited RBLI in 2018



Recognising the need and expanding our care services

LIFEWORKS SUPPORTING LIVES 20 Making substantial difference to veterans and spouses of serving personnel

MOVING PEOPLE INTO WORK 22 Applying our unique expertise for those in search of employment

LORD DANNATT CHALLENGE Eight RBLI veterans undertook the Lord




Dannatt Round Britain Challenge


We want our volunteers to get as much out of their time as our beneficiaries do 2019 EVENTS




Get involved in RBLI’s Centenary year

We would like to thank the people who supported us trhough 2018


Support Britain’s Bravest by taking in


part with one of our events!



In 1919, for many, 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

training and employment was crucial if

1,600,00 also seriously injured as a

four long years of conflict.

veterans and re-establish their life.

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 for of support.

Whether suffering dreadful physical

a country counting the financial costs of RBLI was established in 1919 as

With the establishment of an on-

crucial accommodation to troops

where veterans could not only receive

Industrial Settlements Inc to offer

site factory, it soon became a place

returning from the First World War with tuberculosis.

injury or mental trauma, or finding

Based at Aylesford’s iconic Preston Hall,

suffering from tuberculosis, veterans

treatment, movement towards skills

themselves among the thousands

we were able to help rehabilitate injured

RBLI recognised that following initial

treatment, rehabilitation and housing, but also gain crucial training and

employment to aid their recovery. One hundred years later, that same

ethos of care, training and employment






Industrial Settlements is established at Aylesford’s Preston Hall to provide support to troops returning from the Great War with TB

Industrial Settlements joined forces with The British Legion (later the Royal British Legion)

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 has risen to 1,641


is still at the very core of RBLI, but

housing, independent-living, a high-

BBMC creates opportunities for ex-

dreams of our original founders.

accommodation for those most in need

they learned in service to help them

our village has grown well beyond the We have developed a truly unique

dependency care home and emergency of immediate support.

At the heart of this village, is also the

social care, welfare and employment in

Bravest Manufacturing Company, which

one single place to help individuals turn their lives around more quickly.

We now house more than 300 veterans and their families through family

maintain their independence in civilian

life. Products manufactured at BBMC’s

community built upon an ethos of

integrated care, encompassing health,

forces personnel to use the skills

Aylesford base include signs for

very same factory, now called Britain’s

has a turnover of almost £6m a year and

Network Rail and Highways England, as well as pallets.

provides employment to more than 100 people – 70% of whom are veterans or people with disabilities.






Shortly after the end of the Second World War, Industrial Settlements’ name was changed to Royal British Legion Industries (Preston Hall) Incoporated

RBLI’s social enterprise launches its reflective signs department bringing the total number of disabled employees to 136

The Queen bestowed the royal prefix on the charity and 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.

December saw a visit from Her Majestery Queen Elizabeth II who toured BBMC’s goods department and the signs departments


We have 100 years of expertise in

significant investment for the future

When complete, the Centenary Village

towards employment and greater

throughout the UK. This investment

designed to be fully accessible and

supporting injured ex-service personnel independence saw us move outside the veteran space.

As we move into our centenary year,

RBLI has recently established Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) based in Renfrewshire.

Adopting the same model as BBMC,

it will provide manufacturing training

opportunities for 150 disabled or longterm unemployed over three years.

We want to continue to build our basis of care – a place those with nowhere

else turn can call home – established for another 100 years to come.

The Centenary Village will be a

of ex-Armed Forces personnel

will provide 48 apartments, each

will enable veterans who come to RBLI with no money, no job and no home to leave with a second life on civvy

house single veterans in urgent need,

alongside 20 new family homes in a mix of town and mews-style housing, and

street in place. We are now actively

further 24 assisted-living apartments.

fundraising through the military

Phase 1 of the new village, offering 24

community, corporate partnerships,

apartments, was completed in 2017

trust, foundation and individual

and opened by Kent MP and former

philanthropists, to help us create

Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon

this incredible and lasting legacy for

Michael Fallon.


The aim is to create a further assisted

living scheme, extending the care and support it has provided since 1919. It

will provide further crucial housing and welfare help to ex-service personnel,

providing a place for them to call home.

A community centre will provide

veterans and their families with a

range of services, welfare support and training, tackling isolation through

social engagement and promoting independence.






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’s factory reaches a turnover of £1m

RBLI purchases a Leatherhead factory run by the Queen Elizabeth Foundation, expanding operations into Surrey

Queen Elizaebeth Court, RBLI’s assisted living accommodation for veterans and their dependents opens its doors.







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.

Phase One of RBLI’s Centenary Village 24 specially adapted apartments - is officially opened by the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon MP

Launch of Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in Renfrewshire

Royal Brtish Legion Industries enters its centenary year



RBLI’S WALL OF HONOUR UNVEILED AT REMEMBRANCE As the nation fell silent in commemoration of the end of the

Wendy spoke of her great uncle Albert Bursford, who at just

Wall of Honour project which offers members of the public

of Cambrai in 1917.

First World War last November, we proudly unveiled our

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 last year, has seen

more than 150 people from across the country honour their

loved ones - each donating £100, all of which goes to RBLI’s

services supporting Armed Forces veterans and people with disabilities.

Three of those who took part in the project, Peter Ketley,

Wendy Brimicombe, and Mike Mills, were selected to share their stories with those in attendance.

21 year of age, lost his life on the very first day of the battle 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.

“This left the family with no place of remembering his short but important life.

“Albert is now remembered on the Wall of Honour.” To find out more about the project please visit

rbli.co.uk/wallofhonour or email fundraising@rbli.co.uk

LEDLEY KING VISITS THE RBLI VILLAGE Each and every year, we welcome to our village people from all

walks of life. Whether that’s from our friends in the military charity sector, or significant individuals from across the private sectors, However, the veterans living across our Aylesford headquarters

and working within our on-site factory were pleasantly surprised

to welcome former England international and Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King.

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’S CENTENARY VILLAGE Developed in line with the most significant year in our history RBLI’s £14m development will become a national beacon of veteran care

ANOTHER 100 YEARS OF CARE For the past century we have

dedicated our charity to the support of Britain’s ex-service personnel.

Whether facing life-changing injuries, homelessness or drug addiction,

thousands of veterans have found

hope in our Aylesford village, regained structure in their lives, and become, once again, independent.

As the need for care for those veterans


of recent conflicts will continue well

This project, which will support

forward, once more plan ahead, and

every year, will become true national

into the 21st century, we must look construct a development for many thousands more.

hundreds of veterans each and

beacon of veteran care alongside our headquarters in the heart of Kent.

Our visionary Centenary Village plan

As the social consciousness moves

our new strategy ‘Improving Lives

great wars of the last century, we will

first began in 2015 when we launched Every Day’. The aim was to ensure

that as we drew closer to our 2019

centenary, we were ready to build on the 100 years.

further and further away from the two provide a home for those of more

recent conflicts too often forgotten.


Our visionary £14m Centenary

newly-established social enterprise

charity continue to provide crucial

backing of Barratt Developments in



Village campaign has received the

an unprecedented donation in the

housing developer’s 60-year history. Pledging £750,000 to the project,

with a further £50,000 lined up for a beautiful ecological garden, Barratt Developments has given us a firm

foothold on our climb to supporting veterans for the next 100 years.

This sum amounted to the largest

donation in the company’s history,

highlighting their fervent commitment

to supporting Armed Forces veterans. Marking the donation was a gift made by William Murray a veteran now

working as a water jet operator at our

Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing

housing support to ex-servicemen and

David Thomas, Chief Executive of

Steve Sherry CMG OBE, Chief

the largest donation in our company’s

marks a significant milestone for the

Barratt Developments, said: “This is 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.

“We are immensely proud to stand

alongside RBLI in the development

of this project and help this amazing

Executive of RBLI, said: “Next year organisation which has supported

thousands of ex-service personnel since we were established.

“We are completely focused on how we can meet the ongoing

and complex needs of ex-service

personnel and their families for the

next hundred years. We would like to thank Barratt Developments for their

extremely generous donation and for backing our most ambitious project yet.”


SCOTLAND’S BRAVEST MANUFACTURING COMPANY RBLI’S latest step into the social enterprise space has taken Scotland by storm with visits from across the sectors

Having seen the growth of our inaugural social enterprise,

are also open to local community members who have

century, we realised the immense potential in providing

Bravest Manufacturing Company, boasts of 100 per cent of its

Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, over the past

retraining and high-end manufacturing opportunities to exservice personnel in areas outside the South East.

disabilities. The factory, much like it’s older brother Britain’s

revenue is invested back into the company to buy state-of-theart manufacturing and print equipment.

Our latest social enterprise venture, Scotland’s Bravest

For SBMC, this investment comes in the form of numerous

which found that Scottish veterans were twice as likely to

ability to not only earn new skills in their new roles but also sit

Manufacturing Company was borne out of a 2015 study

be unemployed as their civilian counterparts. And, despite opening less than a year ago, it has taken the Scottish veterans space by storm.

The social enterprise has caught the attention of people

across the public and private sectors and we are immensely

grateful for the support we have received in the early stages of the SBMC story.

The latest of which was the newly-appointed Scottish

industry-leading machines enabling veteran employees the

atop the manufacturing ladder and creating quality products. He said: “Whilst we are lucky in Scotland to already have a

wealth of veteran friendly employers, there is a requirement

for more organisations and businesses to recognise the pool of talent our ex-Armed Forces personnel offer in civilian

workplaces. SBMC is an outstanding example of how veterans can transfer their military skills into the workplace, learn new skills and thrive.

Veterans Commissioner Charlie Wallace who, following his

Producing road and rail signs, and providing fulfilment circular

the lifeline that we can now offer to his country’s servicemen

Manufacturing Company has the tools in place to put itself

visit to SBMC - one of the first in his tenure - was left praising and women.

Mr Wallace saw first hand how SBMC offers a range of

employment, training and volunteering opportunities which 12 RBLI 100 YEARS

economy and bespoke engineering, Scotland’s Bravest

at the forefront of numerous competitive sectors - all whilst providing secure employment to Scottish veterans.

SBMC SECURES CRUCIAL BUSINESS FRAMEWORKS Having been established less than a year, we rejoice at Scotland Bravest Manufacturing Company already having made significant strides

towards establishing itself as an industry leader.

The new factory has been placed at the very heart of the Government’s signage procurement choices - on both the local and national level - through the Scottish Business

Framework and the Scottish Excel Framework.

The Scottish Veterans Minister

Graeme Dey, who has visited the

factory on numerous occasions to see

first-hand the tremendous work being done to support Scottish veterans,

hailed the news of its inclusion. Mr Dey said: “Having seen at first

hand the great work that the Scottish Bravest Manufacturing Company

are doing to help support injured

veterans, I was delighted to learn of their success on the recently

announced Supported Business Framework and Scotland Excel Framework.

“Supported businesses make an important contribution to the

Scottish economy. Not only through the goods and services they deliver, but also by providing meaningful employment, training and social

support for those who may otherwise be excluded from the workplace.”

Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing

social enterprise in the grounds of

of Scots to benefit from £3million’s

for future employment and a positive

Company was amongst the thousands worth of Community Fund funding. A grant of £120,000 has been

Erskine Hospital. This will equip them transition to life out-with the armed forces.”

awarded to SBMC to help its on its

Michelle Ferguson, Director of SBMC,

leading social enterprise of Scotland.

veterans are given the bespoke

journey to becoming a the industryAnnouncing the awards, Maureen

McGinn, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, said: “Thanks to National

Lottery players, today’s investment reaches into many communities across Scotland, transforming

said: “We can now ensure that our welfare support and training they

need to develop their talents, acquire new skills and go on to reach their potential in the world of work.”

PROVIDING VETERANS WITH CRUCIAL WORK 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 real 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.”

the lives of local people. I am delighted to see some of this

funding will help veterans learn new skills through a unique


BRITAIN’S BRAVEST - 100 YEARS ON The same ethos, care and support – but now with a 21st century twist BUSINESS WITH SOCIAL VALUE Very few organisations can say they have

reached their 100th year, and even fewer

can say they are still working under the same ethos and producing some of the same products.

select organisations to be able to celebrate

injuring Steve amongst others.

when it was blown up, killing 56 men and

its centenary.

After being medically discharged in 1989,

Having started life alongside our Preston Hall

Steve found himself directionless upon his

factory was a significantly smaller operation

The 61-year-old then found himself deeply

they faced rehabilitation following their return from the Great War.

It was simple, but nevertheless a unique

opportunity for those returning from the

conflict, which helped them see the potential

of an independent future at a time when they may well have been entirely lost.

tours in Canada, Belize and Northern Ireland.

Manufacturing Company is one of these very

with crucial employment opportunities as


aged 21. He served around the world, on

In 1982 he was serving on the Sir Galahad

that it is today, providing our earliest veterans

footballer, Steve joined the Welsh Guards

RBLI’s social enterprise Britain’s Bravest

veteran settlement in 1919, our then-unamed


After a short career as a professional

return to the civilian world.

depressed and considering suicide before finding help from RBLI who organised his

operation, provided him with accommodation on their Aylesford village, and employed him as a team leader at BBMC.

Married with two children, Steve was

becoming desperate when The Royal British Legion put him in touch with us. Within 6

weeks of being put in touch with a surgeon,

That was the very ethos that underpinned the

Steve had the operation he so desperately

factory in its formative years.


Now, 100 years later, that same ethos exists,

The father of two said: “Despite facing life-

which has since expanded well beyond the

and women still have the drive to go on to

running through the very core of the business

changing challenges, injured ex-servicemen

dreams of its earliest employees.

achieve amazing things.

BBMC now turns over almost £6m every year.

“I see veterans every day in BBMC and across

The story of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing

Company is one immense progression, having

RBLI pushing themselves to be the very best they can be.

expanded both in the range of products it

“On a personal note, without the help of

support - however we never abandoned that


produces and the beneficiaries it is able to

founding principle which made it possible to begin with.

Of its current crop is Falklands veteran Steve Hammond, whose story epitomises the

capacity for the step change in life which BBMC can help facilitate.

RBLI, I don’t know where I would be right

INVESTING IN HI-TECH MACHINERY 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 a socially-thriving and commercially sustainable organisation.

BBMC has become an industry-leading organisation with a heart.

In order to do this, it is crucial 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. As the sole provider of track-side signage for Network Rail as

well as providers for high-profile road infrastructure companies, such as Amey Plc, veterans at BBMC have established

themselves at the front-line of the sign manufacturing industry. We retrained former Gurkha Anil Gurung, pictured right,

after he lost his leg just days before then end of a tour of Afghanistan.

Now a prolific sign manufacturer, Anil has been given a second life through Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company.




The tail-end of 2018 saw the military community, as well as

A county fundraiser of our sister charity, The Royal British

the Centenary of the end of the First World War.

beautiful homage to the First World War soldier in line with

the wider public at large, build to a momentous occasion:

In line with this occasion, which marked the memory of all of

Legion, with whom we share our beginnings, developed a the World War I Centenary.

those who made the ultimate of sacrifices during the Great

The theme of the idea was ‘coming home’, presenting

forces with fellow military charity Remembered as part of

home as the Great War came to a close in 1918.

War - particularly the 867,000 British deaths, we joined the There But Not There campaign.

Our social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing

Company successfully tendered to produce the 10-inch

acrylic Tommy figures which beautifully embodied the First World War soldier.

Thousands were sold to all four corners of the UK and further, bringing the too often forgotten realism and

poignancy of the First World War directly into people’s sitting rooms.

The figurines were assembled and packaged in BBMC by

veterans and people with disabilities, for whom the project was of immense importance - particularly for team leader Tim Brown, who holds a visceral connection to the Great War.

Tim, who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2015 following an

extensive military career, said he spent much of his time on the project thinking about his Great Uncle who served at the Somme.


British soldiers just as they did when they were welcomed Standing resolute, the blackened figures commemorated

the British Soldier and encouraged members of the public

to take a moment, and remember the sacrfices made by so many during the conflict.

As the Centenary of the First World War approach, we were

commissioned to produce figures as part of a wider range of models.

More than 3450 Silhouettes outlines were produced to

recognise those who gave medical support, soldiers from across the commonwealth, the RAF and RFC, the Royal

Navy, munition factory workers and suffragettes who lead

the fight for votes for women - all of whom played a gamechanging role in making us the nation we are today.

This project, along with our collaboration with Remembered

for the There But Not There campaign, highlighted perfectly the willingness for military charities to come together for a single cause: to remember.


Thank you to those who visited Royal British Legion Industries in 2018

Lord Dannatt Fresh off the back of the immensely

successful Lord Dannatt Round Britain

Health Secretary praises RBLI community

Challenge and the poignant There But Not

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock

both, toured RBLI to see first hand the work

MP, toured our social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, alongside Aylesford and Chatham MP and long-term friend of RBLI Tracey Crouch, before speaking directly with village residents who had benefited from our STEP-IN programme.

There campaign, Lord Dannatt, who headed our beneficiaries are doing in our Aylesford social enterprise,

Britain’s Bravest

Manufacturing Company.

Sir Mark Mans

Chelsea Foundation

Be Military Fit

In his role as Trustee of the Nuffield

In January, we welcomed the Chelsea

In December, we welcomed

Engineer Lieutenant General Sir

enterprise. The foundation was set up

company delivering fitness classes

Foundation, Former Chief Royal

Mark Mans KCB CBE DL toured our social enterprise Britain’s Bravest

Manufacturing Company. Sir Mark

also spoke directly with our LifeWorks team to learn about the life-changing

effect the programme has on ex-service personnel.

Foundation to our village and social

in 2010 to bring together the Football in the Community and the Education Departments along with the football club’s charitable and community

activities, including their international and anti discrimination projects.

representatives from Be Military Fit - a headed by former service personnel nationwide.

The company, teamed up with former SAS serviceman and adventurer Bear

Grylls, to transform the outdoor fitness industry in the UK.



Recognising the need and expanding our care services Pictured above are the plans for RBLI’s new day care build

People are living longer, happier lives and are

Due for completion in Spring, a new care facility,

into their later years - often in spite of significant

a day-care centre. The spacious rooms, alongside

more frequently able to retain their independence illness or disability.

This, of course, should be welcomed with open

arms. However it poses a very serious question

flexible living spaces, light and airy rooms and

modern en-suite facilities will offer a home away from home our future residents.

concerning not just the availability of care, but the

This is a unique offer of exceptional

incredibly wide range of needs.

care for the wider public, Armed Forces veterans

versatility of the industry to be able to meet an With 100 years of experience in care guiding

accommodation, safety and, above all, unbeatable and their dependants.

us, plans are well underway for us to further

So many people want to feel at home, but

Aylesford village, where we began providing care

additional pressure on their families.

build upon the range of accommodation on our one century ago.

As it stands, we house more than 300 people on our village - many of whom live in our assistedliving accommodation and high-dependency

nursing home, Queen Elizabeth Court and Gavin Astor House respectively.

also need to feel they are cared for - without This coupled with plans to refurbish Gavin Astor

House, after which we will have a floor dedicated solely to individuals suffering from dementia one of the most significant care issues of our

time - will significantly widen the breadth of care available on our village.

However in recognising these every increasing

We are eagerly looking forward to this

expansions and alterations to our village, so

of Good across all areas by the Care Quality

demands, we are on the front foot, making

we can be industry-leaders in those providing support to people in later life.


featuring 15-bed intermediate care suits as well

development which will build on our 2018 rating Commission.

OUR STEP-IN MODEL STEP-IN provides a structured process to encourage engagement with our Welfare Team, establish a forward thinking plan and create self-motivation. The aim is

that each individual actively participates

in building a better future for themselves and their family.

SUPPORT Immediate and tailored support

TRAINING Learning new skills, volunteering, and employment


EVALUATION Regular reviews of progress

Each of our village residents has their own history, health requirements, financial situation skills and employment prospects.


Its because of this that we have a developed an

holistic and versatile care option geared towards

Bespoke plans for everyone we

moving our beneficiaries - irrespective of their

are supporting

challenges - towards independence.

Through our STEP-IN care model, we help

individuals with multiple health needs and severe


designed to assess their individual requirements,

Steps toward greater

disabilities, providing them with a personalised plan, give them the tools to overcome challenges and


move them towards greater independence.

NEXT STEPS Towards achieving goals



LIFEWORKS: SUPPORTING LIVES As a charity with 100 years of

difference to veterans and spouses of

no better than in our flagship

UK - and even further afield.

experience, our expertise is highlighted employment programme LifeWorks. We are proud to say that the

programme has made a substantial


serving personnel from all around the

More than 1,200 veterans have 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 almost 80% off all

delegates have some form of physical or mental disability.

LIFEWORKS IN LIVERPOOL THANKS TO THE VETERANS FOUNDATION Since its humble beginnings in 2014, our transformative employment

support programme for veterans and their families, LifeWorks, has made

tremendous waves in bettering the lives of veterans all across the UK.

Now standing at more than 1,200

participants, the programme sees

83% move into employment, training

or volunteering with 12 months. This is

especially impressive when considering

that almost 80% face challenges due to physical or mental disability.

Over the past five years, we have held courses in all four corners of the UK -

from Plymouth to Newcastle - providing job-seeking to veterans,utilising

our century’s worth of experience.

Recently we held a course

for veterans in Merseyside

thanks to the generous support of the Veterans Foundation

Ian Downie, Head of RBLI’s


LifeWorks Programme, said:

“Transitioning from the Armed Forces into the civilian world can be an

incredibly challenging period for the service leaver.

“Without employment, the lives of

“However, now, with the


generous support of the Veterans

Foundation, we have been able to

provide crucial employability skills to exservice personnel in Liverpool.”

veterans can too often spiral downwards, resulting in a loss of independence,

financial difficulties and drug and alcohol abuse - this is simply unacceptable.


Facing relocation, the prospect of

all but a handful of British troops return

and accommodation, is a daunting

drawdown from Germany which will see home, it is important to recognise that

this can be a potentially turbulent time

for the military spouses stationed there. First announced in 2016, it will see the

closure of six regional hubs, which hosts 39,000 members.

This will see thousands of military

spouses, based all across Germany,

having to find new friends, employment challenge for the partners of our service personnel.

However, our LifeWorks Families course, which is specifically designed to help

military spouses secure employment and move towards independence has played a crucial role in the lives of these men

Lindsay is one of these spouses having attended a course in Germany.

She said: “I’m so glad I made the effort and went because it was amazing.

“The trainers were brilliant in the way they presented and conducted the course.

“I will definitely be recommending it to friends and family.”

and women.

move back to the UK.


FINDING EMPLOYMENT SOLUTIONS AND MOVING PEOPLE INTO WORK Although veteran care runs through the very core of RBLI, the past 100 years of experience has provided our charity with an immense

understanding of the various barriers people face both in their journey to work and during employment.

Therefore, over recent decades we have been applying our unique

expertise for those in search of employment outside of the military space - many of whom face similar challenges to ex-froces personnel - in the delivery of a wide range of employment contracts.


The number of people in search of work

who have received the help of RBLI’s Skills

programme has increased drastically over the past three months.

Over the past quarter, the number of courses have increased from 3 to 18 - leading to a 400% increase in attendance on the

programme. In November 2017, RBLI was chosen by the Education and Skills agency

to deliver skills training to adults across Kent and Sussex.

The programme sees the charity’s team of

tutors, assessors, job coaches and advisors help gain the skills they need to move into

their desired work industry. In Kent & Sussex alone there are more than 85,000 people of working age with no qualifications.

Plans are in place to further ramp up the

number of courses, with an average of up to 10 per month starting in January 2019.


Lucia Gibson found it difficult to maintain eye

contact and had a hushed tone when she first joined RBLI’s Brighter Futures programme.

Her mentor, Becci Truman, said “Lucia was a

young lady with no confidence and was very shy.”

However, with the help of the Brighter

Futures programme, Lucia was supported into work experience at a dog kennel - an

ideal first step to confidence for an animal lover.

Just a few months later, and with a newfound sense of belief, Lucia secured

rewarding employment. Becci added: “She is 22 RBLI 100 YEARS

thoroughly enjoying her new independence.”

16,166 We are able to provide support to people across 100% of Kent and West Sussex

6,000 We help over 6,000 people find a job or stay in employment every year

1,000 More than 1,0000 people trialled our innovative careers application - Game of Zones

GIVING GREATER ACCESS TO WORK The hard work of our dedicated team

40 strong team of coordinators

does not go unnoticed.

rigorous performance standards

to helping to improve people’s lives

The performance of our ES team was recently praised by the Department

and assessors satisfied the DWP’s


Andy Milton, Director of Employment

to Work programme on the national

set an ambitious target of helping


The DWP highlighted the team’s

Solutions said: “The Government has one million more disabled people into employment by 2027.

success in delivering the programme

“Thanks to the hard work and

customer service and performance

are playing our part in achieving this.

and congratulated it on the levels of being achieved against key targets. Employment Solutions handles an average of 1,000 Access to Work assessments each month, and its

In November 18, our Employment Solutions division received an excellent rating of 5.5 out of 6.

in terms of handling referrals and

for Work & Pensions for their

performance in delivering the Access


positive approach of our team we

National Employment Solutions delivers the Access to Work programme across England, Scotland and Wales

It is great to know our efforts are

appreciated, which will undoubtedly

motivate us to build upon our already strong results.”


LORD DANNATT CHALLENGE At RBLI, we pride ourselves on recognising

Trust (JST) and supported by the Endeavour

beneficiaries with the comfort and support

of both Armed Forces Veterans and serving

the importance of not only providing our

they need after what is too often a turbulent time, but also providing them with the

opportunity for them to challenge themselves.

fund, is seeing a total crew of 144 made up members of the Army Cadet Force, travel

around Britain on a specially adapted sailing ship STS Lord Nelson, owned by JST.

It is crucial that irrespective of disability,

RBLI’s veterans set sail on the first leg from

opportunity to face difficulty, overcome and

beneficiaries from Help For Heroes, Walking

situation or position, people have the

grow as an individual on their journey towards independence.

This is exactly what was available to the eight

London to Edinburgh, and were followed by With the Wounded and Poppy Factory, who stopped in Belfast, Cardiff and returned to London at the beginning of September.

RBLI veterans who undertook the Lord Dannatt

RBLI beneficiary Gary Benson, who lives in the

trip around the country’s isles on a specially-

– housing available to service personnel in

Round Britain Challenge - a legged sailing adapted

Involving four of the country’s largest military charities, The Lord Dannatt Round Britain

Challenge, which is led by the Jubilee Sailing 24 RBLI 100 YEARS

charity’s Mountbatten Pavilion accommodation need of a stepping stone on in search for

greater independence – said: “We all wanted to take on the Round Britain Challenge to

test our fears and support each other, but I


IT IS VITAL THAT EX-SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN ARE GIVEN EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO CHALLENGE THEMSELVES ON THEIR JOURNEY don’t believe any of us expected it to be such a phenomenally positive experience.

“Interacting with the cadets on board was truly inspiring for all of us - they would support us and help us overcome our

disabilities while equally we would offer them encouragement and words of advice having extensive military experience amongst us.”

RBLI welfare officer Malcolm Sears, who oversees the wellbeing of the veterans living on the village said the change in the veterans has been nothing short of outstanding.

“There has been such a drastic change in the guys who

undertook the challenge – each of them has come back to

Mountbatten Pavilion with a whole new lease of life and great motivation moving forward.

“And that is the very ethos of this village, to provide not only

the environment where they receive the welfare support they

require to overcome their challenges, but also the opportunities to test themselves, find new confidence and move closer to greater employment.”

Lord Dannatt said: “This incredible and ambitious challenge

reflects the past, present and future. It will be an adventure of integration, unity and mentorship for the veterans and cadets sailing side by side. Everything on board will be designed

to teach leadership, independence and teamwork skills – a

tremendous way to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1.”

RBLI Chief Executive Steve Sherry CMG OBE presenting to the veterans at Edinburgh Castle following their 10-day adventure.



We want you get as much out of your time volunteering at RBLI as our beneficiaries do Volunteering at RBLI is never just a tick in a box. Whether

More than 300 people live on RBLI’s village – many of whom

kindly dedicate their time to RBLI provide us with essential

valuable things we can provide them with is conversation,

as individuals or in teams from a company, those who

resources and skills - meaning we can achieve more for the Armed Forces communities who need us.

RBLI receives more than 14,000 hours of support from over

range of services and divisions ensuring that our

organisation can continue to provide outstanding support to the Armed Forces community, people

with disabilities and individuals who are out of work. Molly first joined our volunteer team in April of last 2017 supporting our staff members in the Duchess

of Kent and our independent-living accommodation Queen Elizabeth Court available on our village.

“I know it’s nice for them to have someone to talk

to,” said Molly. “There are residents on the village,

who don’t always have someone to speak to, so just to spend time with them is really worthwhile.”


her time and develop relationships with our beneficiaries which she says is a “stand-out point” of her time here.

range of opportunities for you to support.

All of our volunteers dedicate their time across our

and Molly has this in abundance. Molly’s willingness to lend earned her a well-deserved Volunteer of the Month award –

As a diverse charity, we are able to provide uniquely wide

300 individuals each and every year.

require specific, tailored care. However, one of the most

“It was great, because it was such a surprise. It was nice to know that your work doesn’t go unnoticed – it’s nice to see

that volunteering actually makes an impact – not just with the



Hours given by our volunteers during 2018

That much time is equalent to


residents but also the people you work with.

However, as Molly admitted, she hadn’t

always had the confidence which is now praised by so many.

Before joining RBLI, Molly faced challenges due to a lack of confidence, finding it


of our volunteers recommend volunteering at RBLI

difficult to talk to people. “In myself,” she adds. “I have become more confident. I didn’t like meeting new people, I was

really shy and didn’t have any confidence, but since then, I have really come out of my shell.”

“I would definitely explain and recommend the benefits of volunteering at RBLI to anyone.”

Volunteer Manager Andrew Stickells

said: “The feedback received from our

residents, staff and other volunteers about


Started volunteer partnership with Barratt Developments – hosting their National HR Team in Aylesford and working with Graduates

Molly is exceptional.

“The change in Molly has been

phenomenal - she undertakes every task

with enthusiasm and her bubbly nature is infectious.

“She really does highlight brilliantly the


We were asbolutely boweld over by all of

power that volunteering – at any age –

those who supported RBLI’s work on the


teams from Valero, Kent County Council,

can have on your character and sense of Molly stopped dedicating her time to

RBLI in September 2018 when she joined pursued her own career in the Armed

There But Not There project, including British Gas, East Sutton Park and Mid Kent College

Forces as she joined the Royal Navy.



Play your part in supporting veterans and people with disabilities by getting involved in RBLI’s Centenary Year An organisation’s centenary only happens once, and so we want to make it the greatest year in our history.

Throughout 2019, we will be holding numerous events,

highlighted towards the end of this issue, which will appeal to individuals, teams and corporates, of all abilities.

It’s incredibly important to us that we share our centenary celebrations with as many people as possible.

It is the dedicated support of tens of thousands of people


from not only our home county of Kent, but also around the United Kingdom, which has ensured that 100 years

later, we are still able to improve the lives of those who need it most.

And so, we want to make 2019 a year to remember, offering you more opportunities to take part in

phenomenal challenges, events and occasions which will

see you play a direct part in bettering the lives of veterans and people with disabilities through our range of services.

THE CENTENARY RIDE 2019 Be one of the 100 and join us on an

historic ride alongside injured veterans through the battlefields of Europe in recognition of 100 years of veteran

care by Royal British Legion Industries. Following the spectacularly successful 2018 ride, held in honour of the

anniversary of the end of the First

war memorial in Ypres, in time for the

returns - this time with space for a

solemn service of remembrance.

World War, our flagship cycle ride

iconic Last Post, played as part of a

person representing each year of our charity.

Taking place between 12 and 14 July, this year’s ride will set off from the charity’s village in Aylesford, Kent,

and finish at Belgium’s Menin Gate

We were established in 1919 to

support the wounded servicemen

on their return from the battlefields, through which you will ride,

including of the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele.

THE RBLI ZENITH24 Get involved in RBLI’s first mass participation

event – the RBLI Zenith24 – a 24-hour lapped

run event set in the beautiful grounds of Hole Park, Rolvenden, Kent on 22/23 June 2019. Celebrating our Centenary year, and raise

money to help Britain’s brave ex-service men and women.

The RBLI Zenith24 is run over a looping 10k route, meaning it’s not just for the ultra-

marathon runners amongst you. Anyone can get involved - you can run, jog or even walk

your lap as a solo, or in teams of two, three to five or six to eight.

You do as many or as few laps as you like.

There are no limits, so don’t feel you have to

be super fit to come along and join in the fun. All the money raised via this tremendous event will go directly to supporting RBLI’s services providing critical support for veterans and people with disabilities.



We would like to thank the people who have helped us the past year

Thank you to our five Royal Parks Runners 2018: Jade Harris, Adam Freeman, Gemma Kearney, Dawa Lama

Bhote and Tracy Bury who together raisedan amazing £2,539 for RBLI.

KENT MESSENGER We are incredibly proud to have been chosen last year

to be the Kent Messenger Charity of the Year for 2019, giving us vital support through the calendar year.

Steve Sherry CMG OBE, Chief Executive of Royal British Legion Industries, said: “RBLI started life right in the

heart of Kent, and over the course of our almost 100-year history, we have had tremendous support from fellow

military charities, as well as organisations from the public and private sector.

Thank you to John Lewis PLC: For raising £1307 for veterans and people with disabilties

“But what must not be forgotten is the support from the

people of Kent which led to many, many successes along the way.

“Because of that support, we have expanded hugely

over that time, to a point where we now provide services around the UK, improving thousands of people’s lives

each and every year. So we are incredibly proud to have the Kent Messenger alongside us next year - the most important in our history - to help ensure that we can

continue to support those most in need for a further 100 years.”

Thank you to ASDA in Gillingham: For raising £200 which will go to RBLI benficiaries



Support Britain’s Bravest by taking in part with one of our events!



Active throughout 2019

22–23 June 2019

Make our Centenary Year and make

Get involved in RBLI’s first mass

birthday. You can raise your £100

– a 24-hour lapped run and single 10k

throughout the year, it’s up to you.

Hole Park, celebrating our Centenary

have a lasting impact on veterans and

brave ex-service men and women.



a pledge. This year marks our 100th

participation event – the RBLI Zenith24

(or more) over an event, a month or

event set in the beautiful grounds of

However you raise your Hundred, it will

year, and raise money to help Britain’s

their families. Pledge now, raise later!

Hole Park, Kent

CENTENARY RIDE 12–14 July 2019 Join RBLI’s veterans and take part

in the two-day bike ride through the historic battlefields of France and

Belgium. The Ride will see cyclists travel an astonishing 150 miles!

Aylesford, Kent to Ypres, Belgium rbli.co.uk/centenary-ride




3-4 August 2019

13 October 2019

9 November 2019

Enjoy cycling through the traffic-

We have limited number of places in

Take the plunge and experience the

August, in an event that combines fun

in spectacular sites of the capital and

our skydive day. A tandem skydive is an

Royal Parks.

jump out of a plane securely attached to

this stunning half marathon, taking

thrill of skydiving 12,000ft by joining

includes four of the most beautiful

amazing experience which allows you to


Hyde Park, London

a very experienced skydiving instructor.



free roads of the capital this coming and accessibility with watching the world’s best professional cyclists.

Kent, Wiltshire & Cambrudgeshire rbli.co.uk/sky-dive RBLI 100 YEARS 31

Contact us

Keep in touch

RBLI Head office


Royal British Legion Industries


Hall Road



RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries)

Kent ME20 7NL

Royal British Legion Industries @rblicharity

Tel 01622 795900 Email enquiries@rbli.co.uk

Registered charity number 210063