4th July 2023

Royal British Legion Industries receives Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust Grant.

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) is delighted to have been awarded a £254,000 grant by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for its mental health STEP-IN programme that supports veterans who were street homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to independent living.

The grant will be used at RBLI’s Village headquarters in Aylesford, Kent where the charity provides emergency housing and care to more than 340 homes at the UK’s largest veteran’s village.

Lisa Farmer, CEO of RBLI has this morning said, “We are grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for its substantial grant of £254,000, which will enable us to increase our support to homeless veterans throughout the UK.  The fund has been established as part of a programme of work to solve veteran homelessness over the next year. The resource will be used directly to offer emergency accommodation and welfare support to veterans who are either currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”

The £254,000 grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust will be used for work with veterans at RBLI’s Mountbatten Pavilion, the charity’s 28 bed emergency accommodation for homeless veterans, and those at risk of becoming homeless. At Mountbatten Pavilion veterans go through the charity’s STEP-IN programme of structured coaching that has been designed to help them back to independent living within 18 months. Each veteran is supported by a member of staff to identify life goals in structed STEP-IN coaching sessions, and staff design a programme of support that fits with their personal goals to enable them to overcome any challenges.

John Cowman, Director of Living and Welfare at RBLI, welcomed the news and said, “Our sector leading service at Mountbatten Pavilion in Aylesford, helps homeless veterans from across the UK to access the accommodation and the support they require to achieve stability, good physical and mental health, employment and, ultimately, independent living in the wider community. Specifically, the fund will be used to enhance the mental health interventions required to kick start this journey to independence. Our partnership with PTSD Resolution and our Op Fortitude partner, The Riverside Group, will be central to the success of the enhanced support.”

RBLI’s emergency accommodation has an established pathway with housing providers nationwide, including The Riverside Group, who as part of Operation Fortitude, an important initiative from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, are working together to speed up access to emergency accommodation in every corner of the UK. Today’s announcement coincides with the announcement of a new national hotline, part of Operation Fortitude, for veterans to call in distress. RBLI is able to move homeless veterans in within 24 hours of referral. This relationship will see RBLI extend its reach across the UK as well as being able to advise and work with others to support homeless veterans.

PTSD Resolution is a partner in RBLI’s STEP-IN programme, who deliver a 12 week counselling intervention course at Mountbatten Pavilion, as the grant will also be used to pay for PTSD Resolution to provide more counselling and therapy sessions.