Royal British Legion Industries and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council have formalised plans to work together to support Armed Forces Communities across the Borough with the signing of a Community Covenant.
The local Covenant reflects the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant published in May 2011. This recognises the moral obligation that the nation has to the Armed Forces and their families and the sacrifices individuals make in serving their country. It exists to prevent disadvantages that Armed Forces personnel can face in comparison to others, acknowledging that in some cases this will require special consideration, particularly for those who are sick, injured or bereaved. It covers issues such as housing, education and support services, enabling unique access to public and commercial services where appropriate.
Cllr Nicolas Heslop, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Steve Sherry, Chief Executive of RBLI signed the Covenant Agreement in a ceremony held at Royal British Legion Village on 29th June 2012, attended by the Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr David Davies, a former Royal Engineer.
Steve Sherry, a former Brigadier, understands all too well the challenges that many can face when settling back into civilian life and communities. “Making the transition back into civilian employment for many of our Armed Forces, especially those who may have been injured in combat, can be a daunting process. RBLI offers an integrated approach to the provision of services for Armed Forces personnel with access to a range of services which will help rehabilitation, training, employment prospects and long term independence. We are proud to sign a Covenant Agreement with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to formalise our commitment to work together for the benefit of those who have served in HM Forces” he said.
Nicolas Heslop said : “Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is a strong supporter of the work carried out by RBLI at Aylesford Village. This covenant commits us to help them further by promoting the good work that they undertake in supporting the local veteran community and to look for further opportunities to develop new services and projects to help those who have served their country and are now returning to civilian life.”
The group also had a tour of Royal British Legion Village and met former Armed Forces personnel working in RBLI’s Social Enterprise which produces pallets, fruit bins, kindling, road and rail signs. RBLI employs 300 people providing healthcare, rehabilitation, accommodation, assessment and training for Armed Forces communities. It was also chosen by Cllr David Davies as one of the charities he will support during the coming year.
For further information on the work of RBLI visit www.rbli.co.uk