19 November 2018

Royal British Legion Industries welcomes Government’s Strategy for Veterans

The Government’s ambition to improve the collaboration between organisations that support former military personnel, has been welcomed by Royal British Legion Industries.

At the heart of the MoD’s Strategy for Veterans, is the recognition that “we as a nation – government, charities, business and the wider public – support and empower those who have served us in our Armed Forces.”

The Strategy’s three themes focus on veterans, and recognises they are:

  • first and foremost civilians and continue to be of benefit to wider society
  • encouraged and enabled to maximise their potential as civilians
  • able to access support that meets their needs when necessary, through public and voluntary sectors

Steve Sherry, CMG OBE, Chief Executive, of RBLI, which operates in England, Scotland and Wales, said: “The Strategy for Veterans builds upon the great work already achieved by the military covenant and we are pleased to see that the Government recognises that more needs to be done.

“With the recent 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, it is timely we consider more closely the needs of our former service personnel.

“The integrated support of employment and training, as well as housing and care, provided by RBLI helps veterans tackle the complex and interconnected issues they face when leaving the armed forces.

“We welcome the Government’s aspiration to create a more holistic joined-up approach, as RBLI has advocated and adopted this philosophy since we were founded in 1919.

“Although the consultation has only a tight turnaround we would be happy to bring our in-depth knowledge and experience, especially in the area of social care and health care, to help translate the Strategy’s aspirations into a clear and productive national action plan to support our veterans.”

RBLI’s social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC), directly employs over 120 people, 70% of whom are veterans, have a disability or both.

It manufactures a range of products, including road and rail signs, pallets, and fulfillment and distribution services for the public and private sector from factories in Aylesford, Kent, and Leatherhead, Surrey. BBMC generates a turnover of £5m enabling it to provide even more employment opportunities for injured or impaired ex-forces personnel and people with disabilities and health conditions.

RBLI recently established Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) based in Erskine’s factory from where it provides Scottish veterans with a range of fully-supported, flexible employment opportunities. The factory employs 40 ex-servicemen and women and produces road and rail signs, specialist engineering cutting products and provides print, mail and fulfilment services.

One example of RBLI’s support for veterans is LifeWorks, which is employment support to veterans who are struggling to find work or want to change career. The programme provides a 4-5 day course tailored specifically to helping ex-forces personnel secure the future they want and supporting themselves, and their families. After attending a LifeWorks course 83% are in employment, training or volunteering within a year.

The Strategy was published on published on 14 November 2018 and the consultation ends on 21 February 2019.