RBLACT’S CLOSING LEGACY GOES TO VETERANS AID
October 17, 2016
17th October 2016: Veterans Aid has received £110,000 from The Royal British Legion Attendants Company (RBLACT). The transfer marked the end of a chapter for RBLACT, but an investment in the continuation of its aims and objectives.
CEO of Veterans Aid Dr Hugh Milroy, who was guest of honour at a valedictory luncheon, hosted by RBLACT at The Union Jack Club, said, “I am grateful and humbled in equal measure by this act of generosity and the Trust’s kindness in singling out Veterans Aid as its last beneficiary. VA has spent its 84-year-life investing supporting veterans in distress but it is only through the generosity of those who understand and support our work that we can continue.”
Chairman of the RBLACT David Pearson said, “It is the end of an era as the Trust has been forced to cease its charitable work due to a depletion of funds. However, during its lengthy existence the RBLACT has helped countless ex-Service personnel to re-establish themselves into civilian life. All those who have worked within the organisation and who have supported us can be justifiable proud of their achievements. In making our final donation to Veterans Aid, a charity which so closely mirrors our aims, we believe our legacy can continue”.
The successful Veterans Aid model, Welfare to Wellbeing©, has training and employment at its heart. Its purpose is to help socially excluded veterans attain a decent, sustainable life free from the need to be on benefits or reliant on charity. The success rate for graduates of its very excellent hostel is a staggering 92%. Last year 64 veterans went into employment and 79 were placed on major training courses.
Applauded in the *Centre for Social Justice Report which commended the VA model to others in the sector, its comments sum up why our decision to place our final funds and faith in Veterans Aid is the correct one.”
The Royal British Legion Attendants Company (RBLA) was founded shortly after World War One when a group of philanthropic members of the Legion got together to provide employment in car parking for disabled and unemployed veterans. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, a number of regional RBLA’s were formed taking on town centre parking and handling traffic at events. After World War Two, these were brought together under a national umbrella and business expanded, often using bombed sites as locations.
By the 1970’s and 1980’s, the company had diversified into security, CCTV and manned guarding culminating in the launch of a trading subsidiary Legion Security plc in 1998, the profits of which reverted to RBLA to fund the support in civilian life of needy ex-servicemen and women.
These included the London East End hostel run by the Ex-Services Fellowship Centres – now Veterans Aid – which, in 2003, received £75,000 to help fund an extension to its premises.
The income stream from Legion Security plc ceased in 2011 with the purchase of the company by a commercial group but the original charity, now a Trust, continued to award individual grants and bursaries to ex-service people for training purposes.