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Kent Messenger and Royal British Legion Industries launch Homes for Heroes campaign

The KM Media Group has joined forces with the Kent-based Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) village to launch Homes for Heroes – a vital campaign to raise funds to support our ex-servicemen and women.

The charity, which for the past 100 years has dedicated itself to the needs of former military personnel, is two-thirds of the way through an ambitious project to expand its facilities – but needs another £100,000 to complete the mission. With your help, we can find them that money.


Many return from conflict with physical injuries or mental trauma. Often they find it difficult to settle back into civilian life and a disproportionate number end up living on the streets.

Fortunately there’s one place where our ex-servicemen and women can always be certain of finding support and that’s right here in Kent at the RBLI village in Aylesford.

From its foundation in 1919, it has focussed on providing support for veterans returning from conflict with disability, giving very practical help in finding accommodation and employment.

Today, it gives first-class accommodation to more than 350 veterans and their families.

But it does much more than just provide a place to stay.

There is the on-site social enterprise factory of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, which gives gainful employment to more than 80 injured veterans who manufacture traffic signs used by local authorities and businesses across the country.

Victory House is part of the new development by the charity
Victory House is part of the new development by the charity

And there are specialist provisions offering dementia care and an emergency support service for the homeless.

Since 2017, the charity has embarked on a major expansion programme to deliver the Centenary Village.

The aim is to provide a home and support for hundreds more veterans that will last for the next 100 years.

The project has so far cost £24m, with the money donated by companies, foundations and philanthropists, including the Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust, the Lawson Trust and Rochester-based BAE Systems.

Much has already been achieved, with new assisted-living homes for veterans over 55, disability-adapted apartments, the Appleton Lodge care home (opened by the late Queen in 2019), and Bradbury House, a dementia facility.

Village resident George Bradford meeting the late Queen
Village resident George Bradford meeting the late Queen

But the RBLI wants to complete the project with new female-only homes, and a community centre with accessible gym and an IT suite.

Planning permission is already in place, but before the final spade can go in the ground, the charity needs to raise £100,000.

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KM Media Group editorial director Ian Carter explained why we’re backing the campaign.

An onsite factory at the RBLI village gives veterans employment making road signs
An onsite factory at the RBLI village gives veterans employment making road signs

He said: “We’re incredibly proud of the RBLI’s Kent links and in awe of the amazing work they do there.

“Looking after those men and women who gave so much is as noble an endeavour as there is.

“We’re delighted to support the charity and call on the great Kent public to help them raise that final £100,000.”

For full details donate to Homes for Heroes, visit this website.

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