Published: 09:34, 12 April 2019
| Updated: 09:35, 12 April 2019
In this uncertain era where international relations and border security are the subject of daily headlines, surely now is the perfect time to remember those who have navigated exactly those issues from the frontline.
To remember the thousands of brave men and women who have, and continue to, put their lives on the line to keep us safe, often paying a huge personal price in the process.
Military charity Royal British Legion Industries, which has its roots and headquarters planted firmly in the heart of Kent, is celebrating a century of work in supporting veterans with mental and physical disabilities to develop skills, build new lives and regain their independence.
It began life at Preston Hall in Aylesford, near Maidstone, in 1919, providing crucial care for the 55,000 troops returning from the First World War with tuberculosis and has since established itself further around the county, with bases in Ashford, Chatham, Dartford, Margate and Tonbridge.
Now, 100 years on, the Kent Messenger wants to take a small, modern step towards echoing that RBLI movement to bring Britain's very bravest back home.
The charity needs to raise a further £2 million for the next stage of its Centenary Village project - a landmark scheme it hopes will be the cornerstone of its supportive efforts over the next 100 years.
Some 24 apartments have already been built to meet the needs of some of its most vulnerable residents, and a further 24 fully accessible homes for single veterans are also planned.
The properties are kitted out with helpful features such as moveable kitchen cabinets and disability-friendly wet-rooms, and surround a beautiful garden which won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show, and provides a quiet reflection space.
The village will also feature, at its heart, a community centre, where veterans and their families will have access to a range of services including welfare support and training.
It will also be a place to tackle isolation through social engagement and promote independence.
If every one of the 1.1 million adults currently living across Kent (excluding Medway) were to donate just £2, this crucial project would be fully-funded - with change to spare for the RBLI's other worthy causes.
In 2019, we often find that £2 isn't even enough for a coffee on your morning commute or an evening pint at your local.
But with your help, £2 can be more than enough to help give some of our bravest and most vulnerable friends and colleagues the foundations they need to rebuild their lives.
We see it as a golden opportunity to help repay the enormous debt we all owe them for their efforts over the last 100 years.
That's why the KM is launching the 'Not 2 Much 2 Ask' campaign - to encourage everyone to make such a donation by the end of the year and ensure this fantastic scheme, for our 2019 Charity of the Year, reaches its potential.
To donate £2, text ‘HOME’ to 70660* or click here.
*Messages will be charged at £2 plus your standard network rate. You must be 16 years old and have the bill payer’s consent.
More by this authorTom Pyman
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