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Iain Duncan Smith Visit

Last Friday we welcomed The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford.  The Minister met many RBLI employees as we explained how our model of a Social Enterprise fits neatly into the Big Society Agenda.    The Minister also had an opportunity to meet some of the Armed Forces personnel who had sustained life changing injuries or illness attending our LifeWorks course.   They explained to him how the vocational assessment and employability training they had received during the week would help them to understand their employment options and compete more effectively for civilian work opportunities.   

We were able to feedback to the Minister some suggestions to enable us all to offer the widest range of services to former Armed Forces personnel

At the same time we hosted a meeting of representatives from KCC, Jobcentre Plus, G4S and Service Charities; including the Poppy Factory and Royal British Legion to explore how organisations could work together more effectively to improve access to services for former Armed Forces personnel seeking work.  We were able to feedback to the Minister some suggestions for quick and easy wins that would ensure better data capture and integration of services to enable us all to offer the widest range of services to former Armed Forces personnel.  Thus ensuring we can work together to help meet the principles of the Military Covenant.
The Secretary of State displayed a genuine feel and understanding of the work of RBLI.  He interacted positively with everyone he met and the visit was a most positive stimulus for all.  

Remembrance Service 11-11-11

Today RBLI paid its respect to heroes past and present with a short remembrance service followed by the traditional 2 minute silence acknowledging the commitment and sacrifice made by individuals and families to whom we owe the nations freedom.

Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham and Aylesford and Joyce Gadds, Chair of Aylesford Parish Council, joined me in laying wreaths at the Royal British Legion Village Memorial Garden.   Thank you to everyone who attended and helped us to honour our Armed Forces Communities.

Signs for the Minister

We were recently visited by Mike Penning MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport. The Minister had heard of some of the exciting work we have been doing, particularly in our signs division and wanted to see first hand what we can deliver.

The visit began with a site tour, where he was exclusively invited to see our top-secret new assembly project, and was keen to help out! Mr Penning was then shown around other parts of the organisation and got to meet some of our beneficiaries.  The Minster then participated in a roundtable discussion with representatives from KCCEnterprise, TMP, Unipart Rail, Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald and Gatwick Airport to identify way in which Government, Local Government, Commercial Businesses and Social Enterprises can work together to help those disadvantaged by disability or health conditions.

Mr Penning was extremely interested in our work, stating that he “had heard a lot of good things about RBLI but had no idea of the breadth of support that RBLI offer.” He went on to say that he was “genuinely impressed with our passion and commitment.”

Many thanks to Mike Penning MP for his enthusiastic support.  I would also like to thank Tracey Crouch, our local MP, who is a staunch supporter of RBLI and very much made this visit possible. (click here to view all of the event photos)