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 2017 the Legion:
handled 38,771 requests for assistance,
4,683 families were given a break,
85,118 people visited our Pop-in Centres,
£3.4 million was given to 118 projects which helped 28,763 beneficiaries,
we invested £167,000 in 28 armed forces charities,
5,112 homes were helped by our Handy Van scheme,
507 people attended the Battle Back Centre,
7,837 individuals attended a Legion Break Centre,
260 families and friends of athletes were helped to attend the Invictus Games,
600 referrals made to our partner agencies,
and we launched 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