22 November 2016

Disability History Month: A Village Vision

Today is the start of UK Disability History Month and RBLI wanted to share with you a piece of its disability history. 

From the battlefields of the First World War, many soldiers left to find they were now fighting a personal battle against tuberculosis. In 1919, we began helping thousands of the 55,000 soldiers who were discharged from the service with TB.

Industrial Settlements Incorporated, as we were known previously, was headed by Lord Queenborough whose Grandfather had Commanded the British Cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

One member of the Industrial Settlements committee, Mr Thomas Mawton, had a vision to plan villages for ex-servicemen to inhabit in order to give them and their families a quality of life after risking their own lives to fight for their country. The settlement here fitted perfectly into his ideology of the future for ex-servicemen.

In 1920, Preston Hall was home to 240 ex-servicemen and 15 bungalow cottages were built to develop the Village ideology.

During this time, many people believed that fresh air helped sufferers of tuberculosis, which prompted the build of hundreds of bungalows with balconies, which still to this day exist on our Village. 

Throughout the years, our name changed and more housing was built. By the end of 1927, over 400 men, women and children lived on the Royal British Legion Village.

Today, not only do we offer a diverse range of support and assistance to the Armed Forces community, but others who are disadvantaged by disability and health conditions. 

70% of our factories are made up of people with disabilities, and we are now looking to further our support and work with the government on Halving the Disability Employment Gap.