THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
The Royal British Legion was formed in 1921 as a voice for the ex-service community. Also formed was the Women’s Auxiliary Section later becoming the RBL Woman’s Section in 1922, The British Legion was granted a Royal Charter in 1971 making it The Royal British Legion, marking it’s fiftieth anniversary.
Originally, service in the military was a requirement of membership for the Legion with non-military being made associate members, however, this is no longer the case with 2500 branches across the UK and across the world. There are also national branches catering for specific interests such as Motorcycles, cycling, REME and others.
WHAT DOES THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION DO?
We help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families all year round. We also campaign to improve their lives, organise the Poppy Appeal and remember the fallen.
The Legion is a campaigning organisation promoting the welfare and interests of current and former members of the British armed forces and their families. It fundraises all year, with many events all over the country such as poppy picnics, poppy walks and runs, drives, challenges and trials, and people doing wonderful fundraising events themselves. However, the Legion is best known for its annual fundraising drive in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday called the Poppy Appeal. It also hosts the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday.
The Legion makes just over £49 million from the poppy appeal each year and just under £47 million from Donations, legacies and events, with about £62 million from other sources, that is an annual income of around £159 million. Of this about £100 million goes back into welfare and welfare related activities and the rest is used to fund remembrance and comradeship events, fundraising activities and membership support, including grants to projects and other armed forces charities.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
The Legion helps beneficiaries in a large number of ways, and works closely with out partner agencies to ensure that the agency with the required skills is involved with the beneficiary, this is looked at on a case by case basis.
In 2019 the Legion:
183,298 enquiries have been made to our helpline
685 wounded, injured and sick personnel helped by Invictus Games or Battle Back Centres
104,975 visitors came to our Pop In Centres
1,300 veterans who acquired hearing loss
1,161 new carers for people living with dementia are supported
4,000 people have received community support to combat loneliness
324 competitors attended the Invictus Games Trials with our support
255 veterans and their family members were carried across the Channel to
Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day
£15.9 million was provided to people for financial support
£12.7 million was used to provide grants to other organisations
and we continue to manage the Veterans Gateway as a single point of contact for veterans and their families with queries about support.
The Legion also lobbies parliament and Government departments to raise issues affecting the Armed Service personnel, veterans and their families.
None of this would have been possible without the support of the public all year round, and the hard work and dedication of our members.
If you are interested and want to know more about what the Royal British Legion does, and ways you can help, please visit the web site at https://www.britishlegion.org.uk