ROYAL BRITISH LEGION INDUSTRIES (RBLI)

IMPROVING LIVES EVERY DAY

Royal British Legion Industries was set up in 1919 to provide essential support to troops returning from the First World War with tuberculosis. Today, it supports more than 11,000 people every year through housing, employment, welfare support throughout the UK.

The charity operates an intergenerational village, providing a home to more than 300 veterans and their families through a range of emergency, family and care accommodation from its village in Aylesford, Kent.

On 6th November 2019 to mark RBLI’s centenary, Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the new Appleton Lodge care facility and launched the second phase of the charity’s Centenary Village housing project. The campaign to build the Centenary Village – a veterans’ community comprising further family homes, assisted-living apartments and a community centre, is well underway and will see RBLI support hundreds of the most in-need ex-servicemen and women every year for another century.

RBLI also operates two social enterprise factories, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, at the heart of the original RBLI village, and Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company in Erskine, near Glasgow. Together the two social enterprises employ more than 120 people – 70% of whom are veterans, have a disability or both. Both factories remained operational during the pandemic, being declared as key workers for their essential work creating road and rail signs for crucial infrastructure projects, and wooden pallets for the transport of food and ventilators.

During 2020, the BBMC factory team produced more than 30,000 Tommy soldier figures, encouraging the British public to place them in their window for the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day, helping to raise more than £1,000,000 for their fellow veterans in the process.

Most recently the charity launched the Tommy Club, a national support club that sees champions rise through bronze, silver and gold ranks, raising crucial funds for military veterans and helping them into work.

Headed by club president former head of the British Army General the Lord Richard Dannatt and with England football captain Harry Kane and SAS veteran Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham amongst its ambassadors, the project has raised more than £150,000.

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ROYAL ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION (REA)

SERVICE NOT SELF

The Royal Engineers Association (REA) is the Regimental Association of the Royal Engineers. The original Royal Engineers Association was founded in 1912 under the name of The Royal Engineers Old Comrades Association. Its name was changed to the Royal Engineers Association in 1952.

The Association aims to promote and support the Corps of Royal Engineers and members of the Association by fostering esprit de corps, a spirit of comradeship and service, and by maintaining an awareness of Corps traditions. The Association also acts as a link between serving and retired members of the Corps and it provides financial help and assistance to serving and former members of the Corps, their spouses, widows and dependents in times of need.

Each year the Association considers hundreds of requests for assistance, annual benevolence grants supporting these requests are in the region of £300,000. It’s not only serving personnel that are considered for assistance. Most cases are from the retired service community and their families. Grants within Association guidelines are often made to the Army Benevolent Fund and other charities that further the objectives of the Association

There are over one hundred REA Branches in the UK and abroad. Branches are established in towns, districts or units of the Corps and offer a great social scene for serving and retired Sappers. If you want to know more about the type of assistance we offer and guidance on how to seek assistance, just visit the benevolence page of the REA website.

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