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Together into Sustainable Employment




RBLI Charity to deliver funded employability training to Armed Forces Families

RBLI Charity to deliver funded employability training to Medway, Kent and South East London Armed Forces Families.

RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries), a Kent-based charity and winner of the 2013 Charity Times Award, has launched an initiative to support the families of Armed Forces personnel across the nation.  RBLI has been selected by the Ministry of Defence to lead a 2 year programme to deliver Vocational Assessment and Employment Support courses to the spouses and partners of serving personnel. The courses, known as Lifeworks Families started in late October 2013 and will continue at the rate of 1 course per month until April 2014; thereafter, RBLI will deliver 2 courses per month at locations throughout the United Kingdom.  The next course will be held in Brompton, Chatham and should appeal to all those spouses and partners of serving personnel in Kent and SE London.

Finding and maintaining employment can be particularly challenging for the families of Armed Forces personnel; given the extraordinary demands on service families including the constant change of location, often every 2 years. Changes in financial circumstance can result in many looking for work for the first time or returning to work after a long period of looking after the family.

RBLI have a long history of providing vocational training to the Armed Forces. They have developed LifeWorks, a unique, funded employability and motivational training course for people who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, at whatever age.  Courses are normally delivered from their training centre in Aylesford, Kent.

LifeWorks Families, has built upon RBLI’s award winning and proven LifeWorks course and tailored it towards Armed Forces’ spouses and partners to maximize their employability potential and build on their existing skills.

Designed around the delegate seeking work, the concentrated 3-day course builds on a spouse’s existing skills and includes researching vocational options, identifying particular employment skills and developing a range of interview techniques. The course also includes a change module in which candidates are able to analyze and better understand the key issues that affect the person as they undergo and significant life change (eg: a partner’s redundancy).  Finally, candidates are taken through practical CV design and development, covering letters and completing application forms.

The LifeWorks Families course will be delivered at the Lampard Community Centre at Brompton Barracks in Chatham from Tuesday 12th to Thursday 14th November 2013.

RBLI’s Stephanie Cogdell explains, ‘We are increasingly being asked about services to Armed Forces families who have to look at their employment options for the first time. As a result we are really pleased to be able to announce the launch of our newly developed LifeWorks Families course. This course is unique in that it provides RBLI’s heritage and proven experience providing employment training and advice to the Armed Forces in partnership with family support services from SureStart and excellent facilities provided by the Lampard Community Centre.

If you are a spouse, partner or dependant of someone who has served in the Armed Forces and would like to benefit from these fully funded services please contact 0800 3196844, email, or visit


RBLI Wins National Award!

RBLI Named Charity of the Year 2013

Kent-based charity and social enterprise, RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries), has taken the top accolade at this year’s National Charity Times Awards.

RBLI, which has been providing training, employment and support to armed forces personnel and disabled and vulnerable people for nearly a century, was awarded Charity of the Year 2013 in the over £10 million income category.

The Charity Times Awards, held at the Lancaster London Hotel, on 16th October, recognise and celebrate best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector. Charity of the Year is awarded to an organisation that has consistently delivered outstanding service to its beneficiaries, promoted and raised its cause, been clear in its goals and strategy, and demonstrated excellence all round.

Steve Sherry, CEO of RBLI, stated, “We are delighted to have won this Award as it recognises the vital contribution made by our staff, partners and stakeholders in helping our ex servicemen and women, and disabled and vulnerable people. It will also give us the opportunity to expand the number of beneficiaries we can reach by raising awareness of our services to a much wider audience, and for this reason we would like to thank Charity Times for this prestigious honour.”

Andrew Holt, Editor for Charity Times Magazine, organisers of the Awards, had high praise for RBLI which also reached the final in 2012, “In a category that was immensely strong, RBLI stood out with its outstanding focus, passion, impact and determination in helping its beneficiaries. RBLI really showed they are an excellent example of the sector at its very best.

“For RBLI to win such a coveted award as the Charity Times Charity of the Year Award with an income of more than £10million highlights the fantastic work the charity has undertaken in the last twelve months.”

The judges, from Deloitte, remarked that RBLI is “A fantastic example of quality, excellence, passion, commitment and dedication.”

RBLI Award

(From left to right: Liz Rickaby, Head of Business Development – Steve Sherry, CEO – Penny Dyson, Secretary to The Friends of RBLI)


SORTED! – offering expert employment support for the Armed Forces Community at the click of a button.

Members of the Armed Forces Community seeking a pathway to employment will benefit from the launch of “SORTED!”. SORTED! Is a consortium of seven well-established Service charities supported by a new website and help line which will provide easy access to employment support for the benefit of the Armed Forces community, past and present.

SORTED! has been jointly developed by the seven charities, all of whom currently provide different tailored services within the employment support arena. The charities involved are RFEA – The Regular Forces Employment Association, Officers Association, The Royal British Legion, Royal British Legion Industries, The Poppy Factory, Officers Association Scotland and Poppyscotland.

This is the first time Service charities have collaborated on this scale to provide employment support.

SORTED! Chairman Steve Sherry said: “The launch of SORTED! will further enhance our excellent support to those in the Armed Forces community seeking meaningful and sustainable employment.

“The collaboration of seven leading Services charities in a consortium with a new web portal and help line will quickly link individuals; Veterans, spouses and dependants, into the specific employment support they require. SORTED! members hope to see other like-minded organisations join this streamlining of service provision”.

Mark Francois, the Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said: “Our Armed Forces give so much to our country and it is only right that we recognise their tremendous contribution and sacrifice. That is why we are encouraging all sections of society to get behind the Covenant to support our Armed Forces Community in every way they can and make a real difference to their lives.

“I am delighted therefore that SORTED! have brought together the expertise of seven charities to visibly improve the lives of our Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans. This revolutionary website will ensure all our Armed Forces community can access the tailor-made support they so richly deserve to assist them in their transition to civilian life”

Armed Forces Veteran, Paul Harding, said: “I served in the Royal Signals for 13 years, and faced real challenges after leaving the Army. I struggled to settle down and relate to people, and found myself withdrawing from society. My partner became so concerned about me that she sought professional help from our GP. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which explained a lot about how I was feeling.

“Through the help of SORTED! charities, my PTSD was controlled, I found steady employment, developed my confidence and was able to showcase the range of transferable military skills I had to secure full time employment as a maintenance engineer.

“The joint support I received was life changing and helped me to overcome a number of personal barriers. SORTED! will no doubt make this process easier and more streamlined, benefitting many more people in a similar situation to me.”