Britain’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged veterans have been offered a lifeline after leading military charity Royal British Legion Industries received a £250,000 vote of confidence from Annington to help deliver a pioneering welfare project providing homes, mental health and employability support.
RBLI’s ambitious new Centenary Village development will support hundreds of injured ex-service personnel and their families for decades to come through new specially-adapted homes, integrated nursing care, mental health and employability services.
“This exciting and ambitious development is a real practical commitment for the most disadvantaged veterans.”
The charity, which celebrates its 100th year this year, will look to provide a crucial holistic approach to people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. The £14m project, in Aylesford, Kent, has now been backed by one of the UK’s largest providers of privately rented homes, Annington.
Helen Liddell, Chair of Annington, said: “We have a long history providing homes for military communities and recognise the hugely important work that RBLI delivers for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged veterans, and the positive inter-generational community they have created.
This exciting and ambitious development is a real practical commitment for the most disadvantaged veterans both now, and long in to the future. We are delighted to help RBLI make this happen, and make this financial contribution to the provision of homes and care for another century.”
The expansion was first announced at the opening of RBLI’s 24 specially-adapted apartments for wounded, injured and sick ex-servicemen, and those at risk of homelessness, in November 2017 by then Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon.
The purpose built apartments were in extremely high demand following their launch and filled within a matter of months. Currently 70% of the residents have a mental health condition and 50% have a physical disability.
Steve Sherry CMG OBE, Chief Executive of RBLI, said: “More adapted homes are urgently needed and we are incredibly grateful that Annington is helping to ensure we can meet this need. Annington has been working with us for a number of years and is an incredibly generous supporter, additionally helping us deliver education and employability for partners of forces personnel right across the UK.
The organization, from top to bottom, understands the unique needs of the military community and immediately recognized that our holistic approach is a highly effective way to provide support to veterans with multiple needs and challenges. Through this development we will be able to help hundreds of disadvantaged veterans overcome barriers to independence and move on with their lives.”
The new Centenary Village, which is expected to begin building this year, will include an assisted living scheme, 24 further apartments and 20 new family homes centered around a new state of the art community centre where veterans and their families will have access to welfare support and employment training and an accessible gym.