INJURED ex-Forces personnel have been given the chance to reuse the skills they learned in the Services and gain increased independence by a charity’s manufacturing division.
Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) launched Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) at an event at the House of Commons attended by members of BBMC’s workforce, many of whom were injured in Service.
All have overcome significant obstacles to get back into work and have had their lives transformed through sustainable employment.
RBLI has been manufacturing products since the end of World War I, when injured soldiers returned home and wanted something to keep them productive during their recovery.
BBMC director Geoff Streetley said: “Over many years, our social enterprise has gone from strength to strength and is now a thriving and successful organisation.
“It is an important time for social enterprises as social value is fast moving into a mainstream subject, which is brilliant as it means that we can continue to keep supporting our ex-Servicemen and women as they adjust to civilian life.”
Rediscovering a purpose
Steve, who was on the Sir Galahad the day the Argentine planes bombed it, and who struggled with his injuries and getting back into civilian life, said: “When I was discharged from the Army in the 1980s there was no training, no counselling, and no support.
“In the Army, you know you’re surrounded by mates you can rely on to watch your back. But there was none of that once I was back home – just a big open space.
“After meeting with RBLI and getting a job at Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, I re-found my purpose and feel I have become part of the family.”
Tom Tugendhat MBE, MP, said: “As a veteran myself, I understand how some Service leavers can find the transition to civilian life difficult.
“Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company helps veterans to overcome this by providing them with work in their factories, enabling them to use the skills they learned in the Forces in a commercial work environment.”