22 August 2017

Tracey Crouch MP and son enjoy RBLI's children’s play area after Kent County Council opening

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch was amongst the parents as Mike Angell, Vice-Chairman of Kent County Council, officially declared Royal British Legion Industries’ specially designed children’s play area open last week.

‘The Summit’, situated outside RBLI’s community hub and café Base Camp, located on the charity’s Aylesford village, cost almost £50,000 and has a military theme with large poppies on display.  The project was made possible thanks to the support of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, Tesco Bags of Help, Aylesford Parish Council, Golding Homes and Base Camp customers.

Recently appointed Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey, who opened Base Camp in 2015, brought her 18-month-old son Freddie to enjoy the village’s latest attraction. She said:

“This is a fantastic investment into the local community and it is wonderful to see children a key part of RBLI village life.  With Base Camp café located next door this is an ideal location for parents to bring their children to play and be able to enjoy a coffee themselves”.

Base Camp now averages almost 1500 visitors per month, many of whom come from the local Aylesford, New Hythe, Ditton and Eccles area.

Kent County Council Vice-Chairman Mike Angell, who cut the ribbon to declare the playground officially open, said: “I think it is obvious to everyone who either lives in or comes to visit this village, which has become a significant local area in the heart of Kent, that there is a real feeling of community here.

“But it’s not just the village residents who benefit from the services. We currently stand here outside Base Camp, the community café first opened in 2015 by Tracey Crouch.

“Local support groups including Cogs dementia group, Mind, Combat stress, and a mums and toddlers group all utilise the rooms of Base Camp which are free for hire.”

“It is because of this that RBLI’s recent village developments are clearly not only about supporting the local community but also giving them a space to find support in each other.”

Director of RBLI Living, James Rudoni, said: “RBLI is a National charity which delivers numerous services across the UK and Internationally but Kent, and the Aylesford village is our home and heritage and we want to show our appreciation of the local community in and around the Royal British Legion Village.”

“For almost 100 years RBLI has shown that integration with the community is key to helping veterans and their families combat the issues of isolation and adjustment into civilian life. The Summit play area is an important development for the increasing our links with our surrounding residents”