14th March 2023

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer MP Visits RBLI

RBLI welcomed Veterans’ Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer in line with the charity’s plans to build specialist female-only accommodation for ex-servicewomen and their families in need of support.

The Minister saw first-hand the work provided at RBLI’s Centenary Village development which, when complete, will see the charity support hundreds more veterans every year for the next 100 years.

The Centenary Village launched in 2017 comprises specially adapted apartments, assisted living accommodation, specially-adapted apartments for disabled veterans and houses of multiple occupancy to support veterans who have recently been homeless.

The final stage, for which the charity is still fundraising, will consist of a community centre with accessible gym, an IT Learning Suite where veterans can receive specialist employment support, and accommodation specifically for female veterans in need of a home.

The visit was Johnny’s first return to RBLI since he launched the Office for Veteran Affairs in 2019 at the charity’s Aylesford site.

Having seen first-hand the work RBLI has done to support disadvantaged veterans in the last 4 years, Mr Mercer said: “I’m putting together best practice in the veteran space to make this the best country in the world to be a veteran and you come to places like this [RBLI] and you realise they are real leaders in this space. 

“The last time I came here, this wasn’t built. RBLI are delivering, they are getting people off the streets, they are improving peoples’ lives and giving people that real sense of community.”