We are proud to help fund the building of a new community centre in Royal British Legion Industries’ (RBLI) Centenary Village in Kent. This village will provide essential housing, accessible facilities and holistic welfare and employment support for veterans of all ages and their families.
The community centre will be named after ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and will sit at the heart of the central green, surrounded by purpose-built accommodation for older residents, disabled veterans and Army families. At the centre there will be peer support activities, skills and training sessions and employability courses run by RBLI’s LifeWorks team. RBLI has a strong focus on employability which has culminated into Lifeworks – a national programme that helps 83% of unemployed veterans secure work or workplace training. All of these training sessions aim to encourage life-changing personal development opportunities to all residents.
RBLI was established 100 years ago this year to care for wounded, injured and sick soldiers returning from the First World War. A century on, the charity’s core values of helping vulnerable veterans towards greater independence through providing homes, welfare and employment training, still remains.
Steve Sherry CMG OBE, RBLI Chief Executive, said: “ABF The Soldiers’ Charity have time and time again shown their commitment to supporting RBLI on our mission to improve the lives of vulnerable veterans by helping them on their journey back to independence after a difficult transition.
“We are incredibly grateful for their continued support, across a wide range of RBLI services. This most recent donation, and our long-standing collaboration, has played a crucial role in the Centenary Village project and RBLI’s ability to continue to provide support to veterans for another 100 years.”
We are excited to be helping with funding the building of RBLI’s new community centre. The development and expansion of the centenary village includes facilities to help veterans cope with managing any disabilities and long-term health conditions. There will be activities and training opportunities available for residents which aims to increase independence.
Brigadier (Ret’d) Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, added: “We are honoured to be able to help with this impressive development and expansion of RBLI’s centenary village. The new community centre will provide essential facilities for many members of the Army family and give them a place to truly call home. On behalf of the charity, I give my many thanks to RBLI for naming this incredible community centre after ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.”
In November, Her Majesty the Queen visited RBLI to open the charity’s new luxury care facility, Appleton Lodge, and lay a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, marking the beginning of the next phase of the Centenary Village. Her Majesty was told of the role played by The Soldiers’ Charity in the development when she was formally introduced to Chief Executive Major General Martin Rutledge CB OBE MA.
To find out more about the RBLI, visit rbli.co.uk