In the House of Commons last week I spoke at the Royal British Legion’s Welsh Parliamentary reception. I was also fortunate to meet with new Legion Area Manager for Wales, Phil Jones, along with local Legion volunteers Samantha Bowen and Andy Davies and Public Affairs Manager for the Legion in Wales, Peter Evans (who is from Aberystwyth).
The event was dedicated to hearing about some of the Legion’s excellent work in Wales. I was also able to use the opportunity to discuss with Phil Jones the changing face of Armed Forces welfare provision in the local community, and to discuss further the Legion’s work developing Community Covenants across Wales. I was also able to meet Legion beneficiaries Samantha Bowen and Andy Davies to discuss their experiences.
The Royal British Legion provides care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families. That care and support can come in many forms, whether it be direct financial aid; benefits and money advice; adventure holidays in the UK for Armed Forces families who need a break; or helping an elderly or disabled veteran with a trusted handyman facility to help with odd-jobs in the home. These are just some of the many, many services the Legion offers as way of support to the Armed Forces community.
In 2011, the Legion spent £90 million nationally on its health and welfare delivery work. In addition, it has committed £50 million over ten years to support the Ministry of Defence’s programme of recovery for wounded, sick and injured Armed Forces personnel. £30 million of this is committed to the Battle Back Centre (Lilleshall) and £20 million will go towards five Personnel Recovery Centres, four in the UK and one in Germany.
The event really made clear for me that the Legion’s work occurs all year round and not just in November. Providing assistance for members and former members of the Armed Forces who have been injured, or are struggling in any other way, is a 365-day-a-year job. And I believe that it is vital we, as a nation honour the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. That’s why I’m proud to support the work of The Royal British Legion.