We have recently awarded £45,000 to The Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) to help with costs towards their Veterans’ Horticulture Project.

The RBLI Village provides accommodation, welfare and employment support to ex-forces personnel and their family members – particularly those with with physical and mental health conditions. The Veterans’ Horticulture Project will provide horticulture therapy alongside more formal gardening courses and qualifications. The programme is designed to support veterans in unfamiliar environments and to fulfil their potential – especially those in recovery, with mental or physical health issues, and struggling to transition. Our grant will help ten veterans to craft their skills and give them vital work experience to help with their independence.

Royal British Legion Industries’ Chief Executive, Brigadier (Ret’d) Steve Sherry CMG OBE, who served in the Armed Forces for 38 years, said: “The money The Soldiers’ Charity kindly donated for this project will enable ten of our village’s veterans to undertake vital paid work experience, during which they will craft their skills and develop a sense of independence. Whilst equally, they will also have access to peer support groups where they will share their experiences, solidify their learning and develop social skills – a crucial step towards independence.

“Those undertaking the programme, which is to be delivered in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society, will also receive specialised training from professional gardeners, including multiple Chelsea Gold Medal winner William Dyson. This phenomenal opportunity would not be available were it not for the support shown by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.”

Brigadier (Ret’d) Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity adds: “The Veterans Horticulture Programme provides a fantastic opportunity for veterans to feel a part of a community and to learn new skills which will help set them up for the future. This is especially helpful for those who are struggling to transition from service into civilian life. Thank you to The RBLI for creating such a wonderful programme to support those in need.”