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Barratt Developments volunteers help restore bungalow for Royal British Legion Industries in Aylesford

A bungalow has been restored to help a military charity provide a temporary home for a family in need during its centenary year.

The team of seven senior Kent executives from housebuilder Barratt Developments tackled the overgrown garden of the property on Hermitage Lane, Aylesford, as part of its ongoing relationship with Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI).

Volunteers have helped tackle a garden challenge for the RBLI (16214961)
Volunteers have helped tackle a garden challenge for the RBLI (16214961)

The charity is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year after first setting up in 1919 to provide crucial care for thousands of troops returning from the First World War with tuberculosis.

Barratt Developments recently made a £750,000 donation to RBLI's Centenary Appeal, which is looking to raise £14 million to create a specialist Centenary Village for veterans and their families.

The village will include an assisted living scheme, extending the care and support service by a further 24 homes, each adapted and capable of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable residents.

Paul Kitchingman, managing director of Barratt Homes Kent, said: “We know RBLI and Barratt Developments have a growing relationship, so we approached RBLI to ask if there was a one-day,

outdoor project we could help with that would support a military veteran.

“We are really pleased that our efforts to clear the grounds play even just a small role in helping RBLI provide short-term, safe and secure accommodation for a family in need.

A crescent view of the plans for the Centenary Village in CGI (9200124)
A crescent view of the plans for the Centenary Village in CGI (9200124)

“RBLI do fantastic work to support veterans from across the county, and with their upcoming Centenary Village development, we’re happy to help out in any way we can.”

Joining Mr Kitchingman were Natalie Perry, sales and marketing director; Simon Banfield, finance director; Bruce Constantine, construction director; Luke Cooper, senior land manager; Gerry Mangan, technical director; and Colin Apps, commercial director.

The group then ended the day attending RBLI’s staff awards, handing out the RBLI’s Chairman’s Special Recognition Award.

RBLI chief executive Steve Sherry said: “Our relationship with Barratt Developments has only very recently blossomed – but their support at numerous levels of our organisation is already

having a truly positive impact on the lives of our veterans.

“The fact that seven of their senior Kent executives were willing to don gardening gloves and tackle what was a dusty, dirty and not particularly pleasant task illustrates just how committed they are to supporting our veterans and their families.

The Kent Messenger's Not 2 Much 2 Ask campaign (7667270)
The Kent Messenger's Not 2 Much 2 Ask campaign (7667270)

“We are most grateful for their hard work and all of their support.”

The RBLI needs to raise a further £2m for the next stage of its Centenary Village project.

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 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 visit rbli.co.uk/not2much2ask.

*Messages will be charged at £2 plus your standard network rate. You must be 16 years old and have the bill payer’s consent.

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