Published: 13:56, 15 April 2019
| Updated: 13:56, 15 April 2019
Military veterans working at a factory near Maidstone have made a new sign ahead of the arrival of Turner Prize contenders in Kent later this year.
Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) - a division of the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) charity - is a £6 million enterprise producing signs for clients such as Highways England and Network Rail, as well as pallets and print and mail services.
The factory in Aylesford - where the charity was established a century ago - employs more than 100 people, of which some 70% are veterans, people with physical or mental disabilities, or both.
The new sign highlights the fact Margate is home to the Turner Contemporary and will be in place in time to welcome art lovers heading for the gallery when it hosts the four shortlisted Turner Prize nominations in September.
It was made for Amey Plc, a longstanding customer of BBMC, and produced by veterans including Anil Gurung, who first joined the Army in 2006 as a rifleman with the 2nd Royal Gurkha Regiment.
Merely 20 days before he was due to finish his tour in Afghanistan, aged just 24, he stepped on an explosive device and suffered multiple injuries, resulting in the amputation of his leg.
With the support of RBLI, he won gold at the 2014 Invictus Games with the Great Britain sitting volleyball team and raised £11,000 for RBLI through a charity climb to Everest Base Camp in 2017.
Mr Gurung said: “Working every day at RBLI is the best thing that could have happened to me.
"I hope the people of Margate and visitors to the town are happy with their new sign.”
Emily Davies, head of social impact at Amey, added: “It’s great to see this new sign welcoming people to Margate, made by a social enterprise who we have a longstanding partnership with.
"We are committed to working with social enterprises where possible and have joined the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, an initiative that sees a group of businesses set a target of spending £1 billion with social enterprises by 2020.”
The RBLI Royal 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.
If every one of the 1.1 million adults currently living across Kent were to donate just £2, this crucial project would be fully-funded - with change to spare for the RBLI’s other worthy causes.
That’s why the Kent Messenger 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.