SECOND ISSUE OF 2018
RBLI IN CONVERSATION WITH LORD KING AT THE TOWER OF LONDON
BRITAINâ€™S BRAVEST TAKE ON WW1 COMMEMORATION CAMPAIGN
Having now reached the mid-point of a truly momentous year - the centenary of the end of the First World War - it is clear that there is an immense public appetite to both recognise the sacrifices of Armed Forces personnel of the past and also to support modern veterans who may face severe challenges each and every day as a result of their service. What I am pleased to say is that it is equally clear that those of us working across the military charity community are working together, now more so than ever, to make it possible for people to do both: to remember those lost, and to help those today. This is no more evident than in Rememberedâ€™s There But Not There campaign, in which we are immensely proud to play a pivotal role in the production of the Tommy figurines - the sale of which will garner vital support for military and mental health charities. We are also proud to say we have also joined forces with our friends at Erskine, with whom we will open Scotlandâ€™s Bravest Manufacturing Company later this year. The factory will offer nothing short of a lifeline to more than 40 of the countryâ€™s exservicemen and women who, without it, may genuinely struggle to secure employment and secure independence following their service. These are but a few examples of the ongoing collaborations between ourselves in the military charity community - and organisations from across the public and private - which move us ever closer to achieving our goal of improving lives every day. However, we are also excited to hear of the heart-warming stories behind our own unique commemoration campaign offering members of the public the opportunity to have the name of a loved one placed in our historic Garden of Honour. The Wall of Honour project will rightfully provide a place of remembrance for the families of those serving in our Armed Forces, past and present, whilst also providing crucial funding for ex-service personnel and people with disabilities. As always, 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, Kent, ME20 7NL or contact us through social media: find us on Facebook as Royal British Legion Industries and via twitter @RBLI.
Steve Sherry CMG OBE Chief Executive
Royal British Legion Industries 2
Royal British Legion Industries
RBLI AT THE TOWER OF LONDON
ABF SUPPORT CENTENARY VILLAGE
LIFEWORKS PROGRAMME REACHES 1000 VETERANS
MORRISONS FOUNDATION SUPPORT WELSH VETERANS
SCOTLAND’S BRAVEST: THE REVOLUTION
RBLI’S CENTENARY RIDE
THE WALL OF HONOUR
ACCESS TO WORK CHANGES LIVES AROUND UK
ANDY’S ‘LET’S GET WORKING’ STORY
COMMEMORATING THROUGH REMEMBRANCE
VOLUNTEERS - THE BACKBONE OF OUR CHARITY
CARING FOR OUR RESIDENTS - AN UPDATE
A NEW VISION OF CARE IN A TIME OF NEED
AGED VETERANS PROJECT REACHES 1000
TRANSPORT SECRETARY VISITS BBMC
CELEBRATING OUR STAFF - ANNUAL AWARDS
CLIMBING MOUNTAINS FOR RBLI
RBLI AT THE TOWER OF LONDON
aving previously held notorious figures such as Guy Fawkes, the Kray twins and Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, the Tower of London stepped away from its imprisonment past earlier this year in its hosting of RBLI’s discussion between former governor of the Bank of England Lord Mervyn King and economics journalist turned television presenter Evan Davis. Almost one hundred people, who were invited as an introduction to our charity, lined the Tower eager to hear the thoughts of the man who oversaw Britain’s financial market during the financial crisis of 2007-08. It was Lord’s King’s kind and sincere words on RBLI’s Aylesford village, following his visit the previous month, which shed the evening its best light. “I did go to the village because I wanted to do that. I was, until very recently unaware of its existence and what impressed me was: this is a real
community. It’s a village, and it has housing, and it has healthcare, and it has social care and it has employment – there is a factory there. Many of the road signs around Britain are made in that factory – it has an extraordinary production of wooden pallets. “And what I found impressive was that this was a way, not just to provide care to the young men we sent out to fight on our behalf all around the world who suffered terrible injuries which will blight the rest of their lives which, in many cases, has led to the breakup of their marriages – it’s the transformation of their lives. And they will need help for years and years. “I wasn’t just impressed by the RBLI village and the community I saw, I was actually rather moved by it. Because here were young men, who were sent out – they didn’t make the decision, we sent them out to fight on our behalf, some of them lost their lives, some suffered horrendous injuries, and then
General Sir Gordon Messeenger KCB DSO & Bar OBE alongside RBLI Chief Executive Steve Sherry CMG OBE they come back – they then have to live and cope with it. And I think we have a responsibility to cope with it as well and we should support and help them. “And I was so impressed with what I saw in terms of people creating an atmosphere not of: ‘Oh isn’t it terrible what has happened to you, we’ll give you the support and help’ but no, instead: “we can give you something valuable and supportive – your life is valuable, there is hope for you.”
ABF AND RBLI JOIN FORCES ONCE AGAIN
TRUSTEES JOIN THE RBLI TEAM R B L I ’s B o a rd o f Tr u s t e e s has expanded following the appointment two individuals both of whom bring with them a unique wealth of experience. Senior development officer at Golding Homes Sarah Mason specialises in the acquisition of land for the delivery of private schemes where profits will be used for social housing.
It is no secret that long-standing relationships are vital if the military charity community is to maximise the services available to ex-servicemen and women who are desperately in need of support. And we are pleased to say that within our almost 100 year history, we have established countless friendships with organisations from across the sector - all of whom have enabled us to develop and execute a wide-range of support services available to those most in need. One amongst them is ABF - The Soldiers’ Charity, who have time and time again thrown their support, both emotionally and financially, behind our objectives to improve the lives of disadvantaged veterans every single day.
Having avidly supported our transformational employment support programme for veterans, LifeWorks, since its inception; backed the construction of our 24 apartments for wounded, injured and sick veterans; and awarded us almost £50,000 to support our Veterans’ Horticulture Project, ABF have been instrumental in the successes of RBLI for many years. However, earlier this year, The Soldiers’ Charity continued their history of supporting our urgent projects by pledging £262,000, fitting out twelve assisted living units and ten one and twobed apartments in RBLI’s new veteran village due to be constructed in line with our charity’s centenary year in 2019.
While former private secretary to the UK military representative at NATO HQ Alistair Watson brings with him substantial military and strategy expertise to the board.
VETS INSPIRE BBC’S DAVIS F o l l o w i n g h i s i n c re d i b l y successful hosting of RBLI’s Tower of London event with Lord King, Evan Davis came to our charity’s HQ to meet our beneficiaries in preparation for his new book. Not much is known about the Newsnight presenter’s latest literary venture, however we do know it will focus on the non-financial incentives behind employment.
APARTMENTS RECOGNISED FOR THEIR EXCELLENCE This June, the Kent Excellence In Business Awards (KEiBA) saw RBLI win Construction Project of The Year for our new apartments for veterans.
for veterans who are wounded, injured, sick, or at risk of homelessness. They are the first phase in the charity’s plans to build an expanded village for the centenary.
KEiBA are run by KM Media Group and Kent County Council to recognise and reward excellence in Kent’s businesses.
The two apartment blocks, designed by Clague Architects, saw us collaborate with numerous donors from across the third sector including the Morrisons Foundation, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Chancellor’s Libor fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The apartments, which were officially opened in September 2017, are situated on Hermitage Lane, near Maidstone, and were built specifically
LIFEWORKS PROGRAMME REACHES 1000 VETERANS
n the military charity community, milestones are moments of great retrospection: you look back at the plans that were put in place, recognise what has been achieved and take time to realise how much of a genuine difference you have made to ex-service personnel up and down the country - and also those based abroad. The dedicated team delivering our veteran employment support programme, LifeWorks, is currently undergoing this very process, having now supported more than 1,000 veterans since it began. First developed in 2011, LifeWorks has gone on to showcase outstanding results. Following an independent study carried out by the Learning and Work Institute, it was found that the programme had a success rate of 83% of moving participants into work, training or volunteering within 12 months. This, alone, is remarkable. However, when considering that almost 80% of those who attend the course, have some form of physical or mental disability, we are proud of the tremendous effect we have had on the lives of people who face serious challenges with regards to employment. When faced with great achievements such as these, you must also recognise the important role played by those who supported you every step of the way. This is why RBLI want to extend our warmest appreciations to the following companies and charities for having supported our vision of moving ex-servicemen and women into sustainable and rewarding employment: Walking with the Wounded; ABF The Soldier’s Charity; Greenwich Hospital; Parachute Regiment; TRBL/Civvy Street; Royal Navy Royal Marine Charity; The Officers’ Association; Poppy Scotland; Covenant/Libor; Hasler Company; RAF Benevolent Fund; CHK Charities; The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation; Morrisons Foundation; Eveson Charity; Carr-Ellison Family Charitable Trust;
Queen Mary’s Roehampton Trust; Rowlands Trust; Michael Marsh Trust; Swire Charitable Trust; Annington Trust; Army Central Fund; Bernard Piggott Trust; Duchy of Lancaster. Delivering on the support shown by these organisations, is our LifeWorks team - all of whom contribute tirelessly to making the programme a success.
MORRISONS FOUNDATION SUPPORTS WELSH VETERANS Currently in Wales, 1 in 20 has served in the Armed Forces while, across the country, working-age veterans are twice as likely to be unemployed as civilians. However, RBLI is now able to tackle this issue by rolling out additional courses of our LifeWorks programme across the country after receiving more than £96,000 from the Morrisons Foundation. RBLI’s Head of LifeWorks Iain Downie said the funding will mean RBLI can directly tackle the ongoing problem with unemployment amongst the Welsh veteran community. He added: “Transitioning from the Armed Forces into the civilian world can be an incredibly challenging period for the service leaver. “Without employment, the lives of veterans can too often spiral downwards, resulting in a loss of independence, financial difficulties and drug and alcohol abuse - this is simply unacceptable. “However, now, with the generous support of the Morrisons Foundation, many more Welsh veterans will be given a second chance at life. “The Morrisons Foundation has changed numerous lives across the UK through their charitable support and now
they will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the veteran community across Wales are given the opportunity to overcome obstacles and secure rewarding and sustained employment – and for that we are incredibly grateful.” Trustee of the Morrisons Foundation David Scott said: “We are very pleased to join forces once more with RBLI, this time in the delivery of the LifeWorks programme in Wales. “We recognise that there is a real demand for this programme throughout the country. To support Welsh veterans to gain rewarding employment, achieve independence and, ultimately, get a second chance at life following a turbulent transition from the forces fills us with great pride.” The Morrisons Foundation, which has made difference to people’s lives across England, Scotland and Wales since 2015, has donated more than £20 million to worthy causes. LifeWorks Families provides free-to-access employment support including CV writing, job searching and interview
PROVIDING SUPPORT AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON
techniques to help military families combat the barriers caused by frequent relocation which can have a tremendous impact both financially and socially. However, after recognising the need for instant access to support, the programme has recently moved onto the web and Head of LifeWorks Iain Downie said it has already seen phenomenal response. “Within just a week of the programme being up and running, we had an overwhelming number of military spouses finding information on how to better their employment prospects. “It is clear that there is an immense demand LifeWorks Families Online,” says Iain. “We believe that as we further develop the programme, families of service personnel around the world will be able to tackle some of the challenges they face and move forward.”
THE SBMC REVOLUTION
ruly revolutionary is how Gavin Newlands MP hailed newlyestablished Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company following a pre-launch event which saw local representatives from the public and private sector learn how RBLI’s new social enterprise will offer a lifeline to the country’s veterans. A 50-strong room, which included Mr Newlands, applauded inaugural SBMC director Michelle Ferguson as she outlined her plans for offering flexible, rewarding and sustainable employment to more than 40 exservicemen and women. Emulating the successful ethos of our first enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, SBMC will adhere to its siblings ethos: to be socially thriving while also commercially sustainable, offering a rewarding employment opportunity to veterans. However, the promise of SBMC is not a mere mission statement - less than one month before the pre-launch event, ministerially-led Scottish Veterans Fund pledged their backing of the company in the form of almost £60,000. Paisley and Renfrewshire North Newlands MP said: “Despite often facing significant challenges due to
life-changing mental and physical disabilities, the vast majority of this country’s ex-servicemen and women have an immense appetite for employment – and moving veterans into work is something we are always eager to encourage. “However, the employment must be rewarding and sustainable, as well as flexible, to suit the range of needs many veterans have. “Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company’s model is truly revolutionary in offering these crucial aspects.” Jim Wilson, General Secretary of Veterans Scotland, said: “The military charity community in Scotland is unwavering in its drive to support the country’s ex-servicemen and women to
the very best of our ability – and the Scottish Veterans Fund, funded by the Scottish Government and Standard Life Aberdeen, is a crucial tool in allowing us to do that. “With pioneering projects like Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, made possible by the fund, we can proudly say that Scottish veterans increasingly have places to turn to when faced with challenges in the civilian world.” Speaking at the event, Michelle Ferguson said: “We are immensely proud to have received the backing of Gavin, the Scottish Veterans Fund, and others at the showcasing of the aspiration and ethos of SBMC – their support will help us truly change the lives of veterans in need of work.”
SCOTTISH VETERANS INBOUND There is an immense demand in the Scotland for veterans to find and sustain rewarding employment after leaving the forces and Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company will be the primary recruiter for those who have lost their way within the world of work after. The development is a direct response to a study, carried out in 2015 into the employment needs of ex-servicemen and women north of Hadrian’s Wall. It found that veterans are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as civilians across the country - a harrowing statistic which we believe SBMC will be able to have a significant impact on. RBLI’s chief executive Steve Sherry CMG OBE said: “We know from extensive stakeholder engagement that there is an immense hunger within the military communities of Glasgow and the surrounding areas for skill-based employability initiatives for veterans.” SBMC’s first veteran hire, Colin Jamieson (pictured) joins the social enterprise as its business development manager. He is tasked with sourcing the factory’s initial business ventures, paving the way for veteran employment. Colin, who joined the Royal Signals in 1985 before leaving after a brief period due to a knee injury, said: “Military personnel have an extraordinary skill-set which is too often overlooked by employers, but as SBMC flourishes, the transferable talents of veterans will become apparent.”
HIGH-TEC EQUIPMENT THE KEY TO QUALITY PRODUCTS
s the first of the SBMC veterans settle in to the Erskine-based factory in preparation for its opening later this year, joining them is an influx of state-of-the-art technology which will allow us to not only to produce a range of high quality products, but also the opportunity to retrain and turn the transferable skills they have acquired during their military service to a new direction. SBMC, is established on the successful business model employed by RBLI’s first social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, and so has followed suit in the acquisition of a Rolls Roller - a piece of heavy machinery which applies the reflective vinyl to commercial, road and rail signs. However, the new Scottish factory has now also welcome a versatile high-pressured water jet cutter, offering greater flexibility in the production of a range of materials.
RBLI CENTENARY RIDE
eart-felt tears were fought back in June as Belgium’s iconic Menin Gate in Ypres welcomed what was arguably our charity’s most significant mass participation event in our almost 100 year-long history. Raising more than £20,000 for our charity, RBLI’s Centenary Ride saw a 30-strong group made up of both our charity’s staff and our beloved supporters cycle more than 150 miles into mainland Europe to lay wreaths in recognition of those who make the ultimate sacrifice - past and present - at the renowned World War One memorial. Adding to the pathos of what was already an immensely poignant journey, leading the charge from our village were five veterans - one of whom, Steve Hammond, added only further to its significance. The cycle’s start coincided with a significant milestone for former Welsh Guard Steve who, 36 years earlier, was aboard the landing ship RFA Sir Galahad when it was attacked by Argentine war planes during the Falklands War, killing 48. The 8th of June attack was the bloodiest in the war for British Forces.
the Centenary Ride to help raise money for us – particularly on the anniversary of the event which led to me receiving their support – it is a great privilege.” Those joining Steve in leading the group were Afghan veteran Anil Gurung, RBLI’s Chairman Stephen Kingsman DL, Friend of RBLI Brendan Touhey MBE, Ian Durrant – who lives on RBLI’s village, serving Royal Engineer Morgan McDade, and the charity’s Chief Executive Steve Sherry CMG OBE. Former Brigadier Steve Sherry said: “As RBLI approaches its own centenary next year, we recognise the importance of looking back to some of the phenomenal achievements and profound sacrifices made by the members of our Armed Forces over the past 100 years. “We are incredibly thankful to have received the support of numerous businesses and organisations – as well as generous members of the public – from across Kent who have made this ride happen. It was incredibly humbling to travel the journey which was made by so many who ultimately lost their lives during the Great War.”
The 61-year-old was left with severely crushed knees. He found himself deeply depressed and considering suicide before finding help from RBLI who organised his operation, provided him with accommodation on our Aylesford village, and employed him as a team leader at our social enterprise Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company. The father of two said: “Despite facing life-changing challenges, injured ex-servicemen and women still have the drive to go on to achieve amazing things. “I see veterans every day in BBMC and across RBLI pushing themselves to be the very best they can be. “On a personal note, without the help of RBLI, I don’t know where I would be right now. So to take on a challenge such as
Laying wreaths: RBLI beneficiaries Anil, Steve and Ian pay their respects at Ypres’ The Mennin Gate, Belgium
THE WALL OF HONOUR
war hero who received the distinguished flying medal for bravery for his raids on Germany in the Second World War is to be memorialised for the first time through our unique charity commemoration campaign. Harry Mills successfully completed 58 missions as a Lancaster Bomber rear gunner – including his part in the lead plane in the 1000 bomber raid on Bremen – despite rear gunners having the highest mortality rate of any branch of the Armed Forces during the war. Mr Mills, who was born in Lydd, Kent and passed in 2011 at the age of 91, will now be commemorated through the Wall of Honour campaign – a project offering members of the public the opportunity to have their name, or the name of a family member, friend or loved one, engraved onto a plaque in our historic memorial garden in Aylesford for just £100. - all of which will go directly to supporting current veterans in need of help through our services. Supporting their RAF hero’s plaque are his sons Mike, who himself served for 25 years in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and his brother Russel Mills – a renowned artist within the music scene having created album cover art for musicians including Peter Gabriel and David Sylvian.
him – no headstone or anything – when RBLI’s Wall of Honour came up, I thought ‘what a great place to celebrate my dad.’”
DAD WAS ONE OF THE FEW WHO SURVIVED - HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THE WAR EFFORT WAS ENORMOUS.
“I just hope that RBLI raises an awful lot of money, fills the Wall of Honour with names and, on the day, we have some sunshine. I think it’s going to be very emotional – I will feel very honoured to have him up there.” All donors to the project will be personally invited to attend the unveiling of the wall at a special event in RBLI’s memorial garden, Aylesford, Kent on Armistice Day this November – precisely 100 years on from the end of the First World War. To leave a lasting legacy, join the Wall of Honour and visit www.rbli.co.uk/wallofhonour or contact Selena. Goldsmith@rbli.co.uk or call 01622 795966.
Mike Mills, aged 71, said: “The average rate for rear gunners was just five missions, they didn’t expect any of them to survive past that. However, dad was one of the few who survived – his contribution to the war effort was enormous. “His ashes were scattered at Almscliffe Crag in the Yorkshire Dales where he used to play as a child but because we didn’t have any permanent memorial for
ACCESS TO WORK CHANGES LIVES AROUND UNITED KINGDOM
ur almost 100 year history of caring for veterans, many of whom face daily workplace challenges due to disabilities, has seen us become seasoned experts at delivering the services which enable people facing workplace challenges to remain in employment.
IN THE LAST YEAR, MORE THAN 10,000 PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES HAVE BEEN PROVIDED WITH WORKPLACE ASSESSMENTS BY RBLI’S ACCESS TO WORK TEAM
And, although still a military charity at our core, this expertise has seen us expand our services to the wider community. This was no less evident than in June of last year, where we successfully secured a multimillion pound contract which has seen us deliver the Department for Work and Pensions’ Access to Work programme across England Scotland and Wales. The programme is truly instrumental in ensuring that people who face workplace challenges due to physical and hidden disabilities are given whichever tools they require to ensure they can sustain rewarding employment, continue with financial autonomy and, ultimately, retain their indepdence. .
One thousand people had an increased chance of sustaining their employment during the month of May thanks to the good work of our Access to Work team - this is a number almost 200 higher than the monthly average. Of those previously helped by our delivery of the programme is Elizabeth Kwarteng-Amaning who struggled to sustain employment after being unable to read or write until the age of 15 due to severe dyslexia which caused her great difficulties. “I was very ashamed to mention that I had these 12
difficulties to any employer. I kept it all to myself and suffered in silence.” After receiving our help, Elizabeth went on to found her own charity supporting people with the condition, Aspire2inspire Dyslexia. This, Elizabeth says, would have been impossible were it not for the work of RBLI. due to the lack of support previously available to her. However, after seeking help from RBLI’s team and promptly receiving a report outlining the options available to her, Elizabeth felt “fully supported in the workplace.”
FROM SOCIAL ISOLATION TO
CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE
ndy was really keen to change his life when he first came to us in the beginning of April 2018, but he simply didn’t have the resources to achieve his goal. He was unsure of whether to pursue work or further education and was, ultimately, lacking in direction. He was not aware of the types of support he might be able to use to start his own business or have any information about training and education opportunities. Andy was anxious, socially isolated and lacking in confidence and funds - all these factors were holding him back from progressing. He was receiving support from Headway, a charity specialising in improving the life of individuals facing challenges due to brain injuries. They suggested contacting RBLI for employment support as Andy was struggling to get back on his feet following his injury. In order to pursue his chosen career, we realised together that he needed to have the right tools and equipment for him to follow his path. Project navigator for the RBLI delivery of the Let’s Get Working (LGW) programme Ceyda Altinbas said: “Very quickly, we could see improvements in him: he was less socially isolated and became more chatty when attending his weekly meetings with us - his confidence was growing within the first couple of meetings and he was evidently less anxious .We were able to see the great potential in him immediately and so set to putting him on the right track .” Andy was made more aware of the opportunities available to him by Ceyda and the rest of the RBLI team - including apprenticeships and courses, business start up and self employment support, funding and other services. This knowledge has empowered him greatly and will help him in the future to follow his goals towards setting up his own business. “However, most importantly,” continues Ceyda. “is Andy has successfully secured work as a window fitter and has enjoyed his first 4 weeks back. “This was only made possible thanks to the funding from Let’s Get working, which enabled him to travel to and from work, but also the variety of tools and
equipment to be able to sustain his employment. These brand new tools provided through LGW funding have a value of over £1000! These tools are for Andy to keep and will be useful for him when he becomes self-employed again. “There is no doubt that the support through LGW at RBLI has enabled Andy to achieve his goals and move forward with his life with a suitable job, a fresh perspective of his future, a new-found confidence and improved mental health. He is enjoying earning his own money and working in a team with people.
THANKS TO YOU GUYS AT RBLI, I’VE INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND I’VE GOT BACK TO MY OLD SELF.
REMEMBRANCE THROUGH OUR MANUFACTURING
itting atop tables in houses up and down the country are tens of thousands of 12-inch acrylic men, all of whom have helped to reinvigorate the public’s appetite for remembering the sacrifices made by servicemen and women. They’re inanimate, entirely clear, and, despite saying nothing at all, tell you everything you need to know about this momentous of years - the centenary of the First World War. Launched in February by charity Remembered’s There But Not There project, the purpose of the figurines is simple: commemorate those who made the most ultimate of sacrifices, educate - particularly the younger generations - about those sacrifices, and heal the physical and hidden wounds caused by such sacrifices having been made.
This, of course, is an admirable mission. However, behind every single one of these Tommy figurines, which now stand resolute on mantles across the country, there is an even greater story. Every single figure was carefully handled, quality controlled and laid within its commemorative packaging by a member of the Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company team. BBMC, RBLI’s social enterprise which employs more than 100 people - 70% of whom are veterans, have a disability or both -, successfully tendered to take part in this phenomenal project. Needless to say, this instils great pride in those working on the project, including our fulfilment team leader Tim Brown. Tim is a royal engineer who was diagnosed with PTSD following an extensive military career including the Gulf War, tours of Bosnia and two
tours of Northern Ireland and Iraq. Having served for 23 years in total, Tim says he has now found his home at BBMC and working on the There But Not There project is certainly a highlight of his role. “Without RBLI, I would be finding it difficult myself to find a job that I could hold down,” says Tim. “It’s an amazing place to work because everybody looks after each other and cares about each other, from the very top to the bottom.” “I come to work with a smile – I never did that when I was doing any other job, which says it all really.” “The importance of the Tommy project is huge to me. My granddad and great uncle were in the First World War - at the Somme and Verdun. I always think of them when I’m making them.”
Following the overwhelming demand for the Tommy figurines, the Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company’s Leatherhead team were then also drafted in to assist with the There But Not There commemoration project. The BBMC Leatherhead team, 95% of whom have a physical or mental disability, deliver fulfilment, printing and mailing services. Managing Director of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company Geoff Streetley said: “The reaction to the There But Not There campaign has been nothing short of phenomenal. “There is clearly an immense public appetite to commemorate the First World War and we are extremely proud to have both of our sites playing such
an active role in that. “Our Leatherhead team are a prime example of people who unfortunately are far too often written off when it comes to employment, yet as we have seen with this project, when they are given the opportunity, they can go above and beyond to achieve fantastic results. “That is what really drives Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company the understanding that enterprises can be both commercially sustainable and also committed to social value.” BBMC’s Surrey site specialises in printing, mailing and fulfilment services with customers including Mole Valley District Council, The Children’s Trust and BMW.
Volunteer Andrew Middleton, who uses a wheelchair as a result of spina bifida, said it is a huge honour to be working on such a project. The 65-year-old, who continues to volunteer at the social enterprise despite retiring after many years of employment there, added: “The Tommy figures pay homage beautifully to the service personnel who gave their all. We can’t help but think about their sacrifices as we pack them away – it’s very moving.”
“WE CAN’T HELP BUT THINK ABOUT THEIR SACRIFICES AS WE PACK THEM AWAY - IT’S VERY MOVING” BBMC’s Andrew Middleton
THE BACKBONE OF OUR CHARITY
olunteers are the backbone of any charitable organisation and we are incredibly proud to receive more than 14,000 hours of support from more than 300 individuals each and every year. In the past year RBLI has gone from strength to strength, providing new state of the art accommodation for veterans, winning national government contracts and we have also had our most successful year ever in manufacturing. Over the next year we are pleased that we will be opening a new nursing home, and also refurbishing Gavin Astor House, to provide a specialist dementia care floor. We are also working with a number of other charities on a project to commemorate the end of World War One. As part of the RBLI family, each and every volunteer is an essential part of all of this wonderful success, and their contributions and collective efforts bring a unique dimension to the offer we can give to those we support. All of our volunteers dedicate their time across our range of services and division 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.
BACK TO THE FLOOR Keen to get to grips with the crucial role our volunteers play each and every day, RBLI Senior HR Officer Jo Trainor, spent her time getting ‘back to the floor’ at our highdependency nursing home Gavin Astor House. Jo’s day was spent alongside some of our hardest-working and most compassionate volunteers, who offer superlative care to up to 50 residents - all of whom have unique,
complex needs which require a great deal of understanding. Needless to say, she left completely inspired: “The impact they have on our beneficiaries is truly lifechanging,” said Jo. “For example, one volunteer shared with me that she supports another volunteer in on our on-site factory Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company - who has autism. “With the volunteers working alongside him, he is able to continue his volunteering work here in the factory, giving him independence which not only benefits him but his family, who shared with us what a difference it has made to his and their own lives.” “I think the volunteers gain different things depending on them individually, social interaction, confidence, a sense of purpose and belonging, independence, new experiences, the chance to demonstrate their skills in a safe environment, meeting new people that they would not meet in their every day lives. “Volunteers are at the heart of our charity and our success, volunteers enable us to keep Improving Lives Every Day.”
THE EFFECT OF RBLI’S VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME
ANNUAL SAVINGS FOR OUR BENEFICIARIES ROGER’S STORY
“I have seen a different side of the world,” says Roger. “It is rewarding seeing people gain confidence and open up to me and this in return has helped me feel more positive about my personal situation. “Volunteering has really helped me keep going, my wife has noticed the difference in me since I started. It is so rewarding when someone says ‘thank you’.” As is the case with all of our volunteers, Roger’s time is immensely valuable to RBLI and truly vital to the welfare and well-being of those living on our village. What is equally important, however, is that Roger is able to return home for the day with his own sense of accomplishment. “It has given me a reason to keep going and be more positive about my own situation. Volunteering has changed my life. I have made many good friends.” “I would most definitely recommend volunteering at RBLI to everyone.”
Roger Judge has spent the last seven months befriending some of the most disadvantaged of our beneficiaries on Royal British Legion Industries’ village. He lends his time, thoughts and empathies to ex-service personnel who face significant challenges as a result of their service. Facing his own challenges due to MS, Roger found himself without work for almost 18 months after being made redundant. However, ever keen to apply the phenomenal listening skills he developed as a salesman, he decided to dedicate some of his time every week to listening to those less fortunate on our village.
“VOLUNTEERING AT RBLI HAS CHANGED MY LIFE WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT – IT GIVES ME A REASON TO KEEP GOING.” Roger Judge, volunteer
EXPANDING OUR CARE
oyal British Legion Industries is constructing a major development on our Aylesford village as part of plans to further expand our wide range of care accommodation and services available to its beneficiaries. The new care facility construction, which will feature 15-bed intermediate care suites as well as a day-care centre will add to the domiciliary, high-dependency and independent-living care accommodation already available on RBLI’s village which houses more than 300 people.
The large care suites will offer beneficiaries independent living alongside flexible, tailored round-the-clock nursing care, whilst the day-care centre will offer a programme of activities promoting well-being through social and health-related services. This development, which was backed by the Government’s LIBOR fund, is the latest in our committed plans to develop the village’s care progression pathways and diversify the services available to residents - which includes an ongoing dementia training programme for its 120-strong care workforce. In 2015, in Kent, approximately 21,000 people over the age of 65 were predicted to have dementia – this figure is said to rise to around 25,000 by 2020. The training programme is provided to all our care staff who care for elderly veterans and other residents on the charity’s village while more than 30 staff members have also received university-standard tuition - two additional newly-qualified nurses are currently being recruited as part of the scheme who will then go on to become its ambassadors, aiding in the recruiting of more staff. We currently offer a range of services suiting differing levels of care needs, including high-dependency requirements to supplementing more independent living with bespoke, intermediate nursing support. We recognise that every individual who comes to live in our care has very individual needs and so we are always looking to further expand the services the wide range of service available to them.
RBLI village resident John Riggs
This then allows us to continue to provide the truly unique bespoke care packages available on our village, develop the independence of our residents and, ultimately, help improve their lives each and every day.
We are incredibly proud to have seen our village progress over its almost 100 year history, at the start of which it offered crucial accommodation and employment opportunities to service personnel returning from the First World War with tuberculosis. And after building on this original ethos of care, instilled within it from its very beginning, we have seen its lively culture grow - not just for those living here, but also the wider Kent community who attend the range of events and occasions which take place throughout the year, most of which take place in our picturesque Garden of Honour. Whether itâ€™s the vintage tones of 20s-style singer Miss Holiday Swing, the colourful brass sounds of the UK Paper Band, or even Motorbike Mayhem - during which hundreds of motorcycles descend on the village in order to raise funds for our charity and the Kent Air Ambulance Service - we are always eager to bring the village culture we have developed together with the community surrounding it. The events held throughout the year are frequently supported by the hard-working, smiling team of staff and volunteers working at our on-site community hub cafe Base Camp, which provides a crucial social area for our residents and the community to get together.
A NEW VISION OF CARE AT RBLI IN A TIME OF NEED
eneral manager Belinda Watson has been at the helm of our nursing home Gavin Astor House for less than six months and has already reached her first cause for celebration. In a glowing review by the Care Quality Commission the 25-year-old home, which is named after the revered soldier and inheritor of Kent’s Hever castle, was deemed to be good across all areas of care.
This, according to Belinda, is not only something to be proud of but also an achievement which is to be built upon. “For Gavin Astor House to receive a good across all areas, particularly when considering the vast range of services available at the home, is particularly encouraging for us. We’re immensely proud to see the hard work and commitment shown by the team is reflected in the report.” GAH offers round the clock care delivered by the 63-strong nursing staff, bespoke respite packages and day-care services for its residents. “The ethos of our entire village is to always move people closer to independence, irrespective of their requirements, so for this to be recognised specifically in the CQC report is greatly encouraging.
“This is a wonderful home, and my team are incredibly dedicated to improving the lives of the residents, and so we want to use this result as a basis for attracting more people to the home, so that we can continue to better the lives of those in need.” The CQC report, which came after GAH’s April inspection, highlighted the positive care our residents received. It said “a personalised service which was responsive to their needs. People and/ or their relatives were involved in the development and review of their care plan. Guidance was in place to inform staff of how to meet people’s needs whilst encouraging and promoting their independence.” Residents also said they were “treated as individuals” and that “their equality, diversity and human rights were promoted and protected.” While “staff at all levels were given the training, skills and confidence to meet people’s needs. Staff were supported in their role by a member of the management team, this included clinical support and supervision for the registered nurses.” “People were encouraged to make their own choices about their lives.”
uring service former Royal Marine George Bradford visited all four corners of the world. From China to Northern Ireland George’s military career, which spanned almost 30 years, is one of immense dedication and commitment. However George, who moved into our independent living accommodation Queen Elizabeth Court in February 2016 - now dedicates his time to the next generation. “The house and grounds, for just one person, was just too much,” he says. “But the predominant issue was the worry of my daughter. She would text me, but I would put the phone down somewhere and so she would worry that I may have fallen down the stairs and so she said well let’s look around.” “I’m much happier now at QEC, because my daughter knows that I’m safe. That’s the most important thing to her. It’s not that I can’t look after myself, it’s just when you are on your own.
“She could have just spoken to me, got the reply, I could’ve fallen and could have lay there for a long time – that could not happen here, because there are always people here to offer help if needs be.” Since joining the RBLI village, 87-year-old George has spent his time volunteering with local schools, who visit QEC as part of school projects. Aylesford Secondary School developed an AQA-certified programme, lasting 8 weeks, in partnership with QEC which encouraged pupils to focus on three aspects: emotional wellbeing, enjoyable reading and integration between young and older generations. Of the four volunteers who took part in the scheme, George proudly donned his military uniform for the final ceremony during which he handed out certificates. George said:“Far too much is said about the younger generation not respecting the older members of today’s society, however the pupils who have came in behave in the most fantastic manner. They are immensley kind, caring and understanding.” It is George’s commitment to volunteering which earned him RBLI’s Volunteer of the Year award 2018.
OLDER VETERANS IN KENT SUPPORTED
oyal British Legion Industries’ project to support older veterans in Kent has reached an incredible milestone, with over 1,000 veterans now supported by the programme. The Aged Veterans’ Project, funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds, was first launched in 2016, and runs monthly events across Kent. The events have brought together many support organisations including Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK, the Fire Service and Euro Mobility who have all been offering advice and guidance at the events. Veterans also had the opportunity to take part in special activities, try out new games and join in arts and drama programmes. The project aims to reduce social isolation and encourage good health and well-being in the older veteran community. Administered by the Royal British Legion and delivered by RBLI and Wellbeing People, the project has seen real collaboration from across the public, private and charitable sectors. Steve Sherry, RBLI Chief Executive said: “The Aged Veterans Project provides a vital service to the community in reducing social isolation. I am delighted at the news that the team have been
successful in delivering to over 1,000 older veterans. ”These are men and women who have served their country and deserve to have support to ensure they are not alone or struggling.”
Martin, a former Sapper in the Royal Engineers, served in the UK before retiring from the forces in 1976 after a 13-year military career. He recognises that veterans still face societal problems, both physically and mentally, particularly as they age. “Generally they [veterans] are looked after well and like all service users sometimes have problems. Usual challenges are around getting access [to services] in the first instance and sometimes a failure to recognise that active service may exacerbate the problems of old age.” Martin, who attended our Aged Veteran event in Gravesend commended the project for tackling these issues. “These events help because it makes us more aware of what is available and perhaps the need to plan for the future, for our spouse and for our children.
“Social and community groups are useful but for the oldest veterans, the shared experience of another veteran is probably most helpful.” When asked how the Aged Veteran events could be improved, Martin thought it best to focus the attention away from older male veterans. “We should be thinking about widows, as wives seem to outlast their menfolk. There will be widows who are probably eligible for help now who don’t know that. This applies equally to families in respect of veterans.” Martin is now working with the project to support an event in his local area.
THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO VISIT RBLI
e are proud to say that the vast development of our services over the past hundred years has seen us make dear friends and allies not only in the military charity community but across the public and private sectors. And it is with great pride and open arms that we are able to open up our home in the form of our Aylesford village to those who support us and to those we are eager to support in return.
In April, Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP visited our Aylesford village and on-site social enterprise Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company. BBMC, which makes the majority of road signs in Kent and is the sole provider of track-side signage for Network Rail, has long-standing ties with the Transport industry. Following his visit, the MP for Epsom and Ewell said: “Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company are industry leaders in the transport sector whilst also providing
phenomenal employment opportunities to people with disabilities and injured ex-service personnel. The commitment and drive I witnessed today only goes to support the government’s position that when people with disabilities are given the opportunity of employment, they can achieve the highest of standards.”
THE RT HON LORD FREUD
VICE-ADMIRAL SIR DAVID STEEL KCB OBE, LEEDS CASTLE
DAVID THOMAS, BARRATTS DEVELOPMENT
DAVID MYCOCK, UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER
RON ROBSON, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
DAVID MURRAY CVO OBE, RAF BENEVOLENT FUND OUR OTHER VISITORS: •
THE WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF SURVEYORS
• • • • •
ROYAL NAVAL AND ROYAL MARINES CHARITY BLIND VETERANS JUBILEE SAILING TRUST KENT COUNTY COUNCIL TRANSPORT FOR LONDON STOLL HOUSING
CELEBRATING OUR STAFF
n July, RBLI held their annual staff awards, celebrating the hard work and achievements of staff from around the organisation. Staff who have completed qualifications in leadership and management received their certificates, and RBLI chairman Stephen Kingsman DL presented the awards. Awards include the Chief Executive’s Special Recognition Award and Employee of the Year. Winning Employee of the Year was Natasha Webster. Natasha received this prestigious award in recognition of her consistency and desire to improve the daily lives of our Gavin Astor House residents and her high level of “can do” approach to ensuring that positive change happens. Natasha is thoughtful, reflective, good natured, willing and
AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR LESLEY-JANE HOLT
empathetic. She has boundless energy and is thorough in everything she does to ensure the best for RBLI residents. She is a positive force in Gavin Astor House bringing the strength and dedication needed to support the current directional change to ensure that our residents receive the highest level of personalised non-institutional care. Manager of the Year was awarded to Ursula Harrison, for demonstrating excellent business skills and bringing strong credible experience into her management role. She has shown considerable resilience in managing difficult situations through to a successful conclusion and is a highly regarded member of RBLI.
CHAIRMAN’S OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD DAVID OWEN PENNY DYSON
CHIEF EXECUTIVEâ€™S SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD SHELLEY MCKEVITT-BATT NIGEL CHAMBERS
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR NATASHA WEBSTER
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR GEORGE BRADFORD
MANAGER OF THE YEAR URSULA HARRISON
FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR ANIL GURUNG
FRIEND OF THE YEAR BRENDAN TOUHEY MBE
AMAZING FUNDRAISERS THANK YOU TO YOU ALL
We have had a huge number of incredible supporters take on challenges for us over the last 6 months. Thank you to them all, including: Jason Ransley, Simon Champneys, Mark Breed for completing the Virgin London Marathon, Diane Lawrence from the RBLI LifeWork’s Team for swimming a mile unassisted; Frank Burnett for completing the Pathfinder Walk; Ann James for raising £200 from her tabletop sale and tombola. We are also delighted to have received support from a number of community organisations and companies from across the UK.
SKY DIVE SATURDAY
Ten brave supporters of our charity took on a sky dive both in order to raise money for RBLI and to recognise the bravery of our service personnel. In total, they raised an astonishing £8564 for RBLI’s services supporting veterans people with disabilities. Amongst them was Jade Sellwood, whose grandparents both served in the Second World War and now live on our Aylesford village. Jade said: “It’s such a great cause and I respect our veterans so much - I think what the RBLI does is great.”
THREE PEAKS CHALLENGE
A group made up of a number of RBLI staff, as well as other supporters, took on a incredible feat in June - one
which would task them them not just physically, but mentally as well. The team, which included Finance’s Jacqui Lyle, Base Camp’s Julia Malling, Marketing’s Shelley McKevitt-Batt and Nicholas Wesson, Fundraising’s Selena Goldsmith, LifeWorks’ Stuart Miller and RBLI CE Steve Sherry, took on the three peaks in 24 hours which challenged them to walk a total of 23 miles with a 3084m ascent. On the morning of Friday 22nd June, the team were in high spirits as they left Aylesford on their way to the first peak all the way up in Scotland - Ben Nevis. The next few days saw the team come closer together as they tackled Scafell Pike and Snowdon and supported each other throughout the challenge. Jacqui Lyle said: “There were some highs and lows but everyone did amazingly well and were very supportive. Reaching the top of the final peak - Snowdon - was an absolutely incredible feeling.”
EVENTS CALENDAR Get stuck in this 2018 and join RBLI and take part in one of the charity’s fundrasing events. If you are interested in taking part in any of the events listed below, contact our new community fundraising manager Selena Goldsmith on 01622 795966 or email email@example.com. You can also visit rbli.co.uk/ 8 SEPT 2018
DRAGON BOAT RACE LAMBERHURST, KENT Compete alongside more than 1,000 people in an amazing display of power, excitement and fun in this year’s Bewl Water Dragon Boat race. The race will take place over a 250-metre Lamberhurst course. There is no need to be super fit or skilled to take part - all that’s required is teamwork and a good sense of fun. The event has proven itself to be a successful day out for all the family for 20 years. REGISTRATION £20
4 OCT 2018
MAIDSTONE, KENT Teams of four are invited to take part in our wonderful Charity Golf Day. The day will start with a warm welcome of bacon sandwiches on arrival. Followed by a morning of golf where you will have an exciting chance to win some amazing prices (last year this included a BMW!). A delicious 2 course meal will follow, alongside an exciting luxury raffle. SPONSORSHIP
SKYDIVE SATURDAY UK-WIDE Take the plunge and experience the thrill of skydiving 12,000ft by joining our skydive day this November. Tandem skydive is an amazing experience which allows you to jump out of a plane securely attached to a very experienced skydiving instructor. You will also receive the support of a local, dedicated fundraiser. REGISTRATION £30
8 JUN 2019
REGISTRATION £105 3 NOV 2018
THE CENTENARY RIDE AYLESFORD, KENT TO YPRES, BELGIUM Places are now available to join RBLI’s two-day bike ride through the historic Great War battlefields of France and Belgium. Cyclists will travel an astonishing 150 miles from RBLI’s head office in Aylesford, Kent, all the way to Ypres. REGISTRATION £750
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT RBLI MARKETING
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ING OUR FO R
B R I TA I N â€™ S
B R AV E S T SINC E 1919
Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), Hall Road, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7NL. Charity No. 210063.
The latest news from national charity Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI).