The residents, who are themselves Armed Forces veterans or their descendants, brought along military artefacts and medals to have their origins explained by Museum staff and the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Living History Group.
‘We are looking forward to developing a partnership with the RBLI which will offer their residents greater access to our shared local heritage’: Simon Lace AMA, Museums and Heritage Manager
Museum staff and The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Living History Group members, who attended in full uniform from various time periods and theatres of conflict, answered residents’ questions about the history of the local area, the artefacts on display and the Royal West Kent Regiment.
The event was rounded off with a visit to the Cenotaph War Memorial at Brenchley Gardens. Here the residents, having spent the morning learning and remembering about significant periods of history, were able to pay their respects in the tranquil setting of the Victorian gardens.
Community Health and Wellbeing Officer for RBLI, Nina Montoya said of the event, “Maidstone Museum put on a fantastic morning for our veterans and residents. The residents greatly appreciated their expert knowledge and loved the enthusiasm and kindness shown by staff. Especially pleasing was that those residents who have limited mobility were very well looked after, as the museum is fully equipped to cater for their needs. ”
‘I look forward to the continued partnership with the Museum and the local living history group throughout the next few years and am excited by the combined ideas from both parties for future events.’ Nina Montoya, Community Health and Wellbeing Officer
Simon Lace AMA, Museums and Heritage Manager, said of the collaboration, “We were delighted to welcome our visitors from RBLI and to have the opportunity to show them our fantastic new facilities and the full range of activities that we can now offer. We are looking forward to developing a partnership with the RBLI which will offer their residents greater access to our shared local heritage and allow the Museum, with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in 2014 on the horizon, to strengthen links with Armed Forces Veterans.”
For more information about RBLI or our accommodation for Veterans and their families please call 01622 795900 or visit www.rbli.co.uk/welfare_healthcare/. For more information about events at Maidstone Museum please call 01622 602 838 or visit www.museum.maidstone.gov.uk/
Following the recent announcements regarding planned redundancies for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, we now have confirmation that there will be a phased reduction in Army personnel equating to 20,000.
The transition from Armed Forces to civilian employment can be a difficult one. With a challenging economic climate giving rise to high unemployment, ex Service charities are acutely aware of the likely impact of this action. Seven of the most established ex Service charities have come together to form a consortium called ‘SORTED!‘ which can support resettlement services and aid transition into civilian employment.
Recognising the part that they already play in this, The Royal British Legion, Royal British Legion Industries, The Poppy Factory, RFEA, Poppy Scotland and the Officers’ Associations of England and Scotland have formally joined forces to pool their expertise and wide range of employability services to give more clarity and coherence to their provision.
Historically ex Service charities have often been called upon to pick up the pieces when ex Service personnel have been unable to achieve independence through sustainable employment. The aim of the consortium is to put preventative measures in place to avoid problems. Linking in with existing provision, statutory services and other ex Service charities, we are certain this new and existing initiative will provide better support during transition and beyond.
The ultimate success of this welcome move will also be dependant on employers continuing to provide job opportunities for former Armed Forces personnel, understanding the range of skills and experience they can offer in a civilian environment.
If you would like more information about the consortium, or find out how you can get involved please contact:
Adrian Peters on 07854544066 or Liz Rickaby on 07971222935
We are looking forward to the launch of the first Victor Project, based on a partnership initiative that RBLI has developed with Blue Sky. The first of these projects goes live in Medway on 16th April. Blue Sky is a well respected charity working with ex offenders to provide training and development through employment. We’ve combined our expertise in the ex Service environment to launch Victor – providing training, development and work to ex offenders with an Armed Forces background. This first project will be to provide grounds maintenance services to Medway Council, who hope that the project will help them meet their objective of reducing re-offending in Medway.
RBLI is delighted to be working in partnership with Blue Sky, an organisation which shares our objective of providing independence through sustained employment. Blue Sky was selected as the Number 10 Downing Street Volunteer Partner for 2011, recognising their contribution to Big Society objectives and acknowledged at a recent reception hosted by Rt Hon David Cameron.
We hope this will be the first of many successful projects delivered in partnership with Blue Sky; we are already working on the next one which we hope to be able to detail soon.
We are pleased to be working with Russet Homes to deliver this innovative project, which we hope will be the start of a long and successful partnership.