Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame (centre, left) with (left to right): RBLI beneficiary, Tony Mountain; RBLI fundraising campaigns manager, Jemma Gowland; and RBLI corporate partnerships manager, Natalie Sweeden
Based near the brewery, at Aylesford near Maidstone, RBLI is a national charity supporting not only British Armed Forces veterans, but civilian men and women of all ages, specifically those with disabilities, and the long-term unemployed. It aims to support its beneficiaries to find work and lead independent lives.
Facilities at the RBLI Village in Aylesford include a purpose-built nursing home, supported living apartments, and emergency accommodation. There is also the Base Camp community centre and café, used not only by RBLI beneficiaries but also the local Aylesford community.
The Village is also home to RBLI’s social enterprise, Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC). More than 70% of BBMC staff have a disability, health condition or have an Armed Forces background, and produce road signs, wood pallets, and fulfilment projects.
‘In addition to raising money for the charity, we also hope that our staff will be able to donate their time’
Shepherd Neame chief executive, Jonathan Neame, said: “It is RBLI’s centenary year so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to support this fantastic British charity, based near us in Aylesford. We are committed to supporting the community we serve, and are delighted to be able to offer our support to such a worthy cause.
“In addition to raising money for the charity during the year ahead, we also hope that our staff will be able to donate their time, as there are extensive volunteering opportunities at the RBLI Village. We are also planning to offer practical support for RBLI beneficiaries, in the form of work placements and mentoring at the brewery and around our pub estate.”
It is Shepherd Neame’s second charity of the year partnership following the relaunch of its Sheps Giving charitable arm in 2018. The Sheps Giving committee co-ordinates the donation of thousands of pounds worth of beer each year, along with vouchers for its pub and hotel estate, to local groups and individuals in support of their fundraising activities.
The committee will be working with RBLI to organise fundraising activities at the brewery and across its pub estate throughout the next 12 months.