Armed Forces charity, RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries) celebrated its first ever naval affiliation when HMS Kent Commander Daniel Thomas and some of his crew visited the charity’s headquarters in Aylesford, Kent…

RBLI’s Chief Executive, Steve Sherry CMG OBE, welcomed the visitors with a presentation about the charity’s nearly 100-year-old history; from its very beginnings caring for WW1 veterans diagnosed with tuberculosis, to the many services RBLI provides those leaving the forces today, including housing, social care, training and employment.

The Commander and his crew were then treated to a tour of RBLI’s social enterprises which offer a range of products and services to private and public sector organisations across the UK. The visitors were even presented with their very own manufactured road sign to take back to the frigate.

The crew were later shown around the Royal British Legion Village in which over 300 ex-service personnel and their families live. They visited RBLI’s new Base Camp café, built by a grant from the People’s Millions Lottery Award in 2015, which now provides a community hub and meeting place for those living and working in the Village.

The tour culminated in a visit to RBLI’s Garden of Honour where time was given over to reflection before a wreath was laid at the national memorial.

After the tour, Steve Sherry expressed his gratitude that the group had been able to make the trip up from Portsmouth to visit the charity: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Commander Daniel Thomas and his crew to RBLI. We first spoke at the beginning of the year and I’m delighted that we can meet in person and cement this affiliation which I hope will be a strong and happy one”.

The crew of HMS Kent visited RBLI on Wednesday 20th April 2016.