In a statement from RBL Headquarters, a spokesperson has said that a strategic review was underway with a plan for more personalised case work with external specialist and localised organisations. The Legion is now consulting with staff members about proposals on closing our four Break Centres, which include Alderson House in Bridlington, and discontinuing our home maintenance ‘Handy Van’ service.
Forty full and part time staff are employed the South Marine Drive Poppy Break Centre and they were informed today (19th Novemeber) of the imminent closure.
Martin Jolly, Chairman of the Royal British Legion, said: “It’s a sad day for the beneficiaries and all the staff at Alderson House. It’s a great facility and has been beneficial for thousands and is a focal point for the town.”
Below is part of the statement from the RBL in London.
The Armed Forces community is changing, and the type of support needed is growing increasingly complex. Since 2016 the charity has seen a 20% increase in people needing basic support with housing, financial issues, mental health and well-being and mobility. In this time, we have seen the average expenditure per household through our immediate needs funding rise 45% from £900 to £1330. Also, in recent years the regulatory framework in which charities operate has rightly become more robust to ensure organisations operate to the highest standards. However regulatory changes including the introduction of the Fundraising Regulator and General Data Protection Regulation have increased pressure on the charity’s existing resources. The Legion is taking action to evolve in line with the changing environment and meet the complex needs of the people we support. Under our emerging strategy the Legion will refocus resource to be as effective as possible in our welfare provision whilst enhancing regional and local campaigning and Remembrance activities. We are proposing to invest more in personalised case work, strengthen our collaborative work by funding external specialist and localised organisations, and reinvigorate our care model for older veterans. However, to enable us to refocus our funding to where it has the greatest impact, we are proposing to stop some of our current work. The Legion is now consulting with staff members about proposals on closing our four Break Centres, which include Alderson House in Bridlington, and discontinuing our home maintenance ‘Handy Van’ service. We do not make these proposals lightly and we are well aware of the impact the proposals could have on our staff who have made hugely valuable contributions to the charity’s work. Over the coming months we will be ensuring our staff’s voices are heard and that they play a vital part in the decisions that we face.Throughout its history the Legion has responded to the changes in the Armed Forces community and the landscape the charity operates within. Discussing these proposals is a necessary step for the Legion in order to adapt and help the Armed Forces community tackle their toughest challenges today. The current proposals form part of a wider programme of work as the Legion creates a new strategy to ensure the charity is having the greatest impact, making the most of its resources, and evolving in line with changes around us. Consultation around the Legion’s current proposals is expected to last until early 2020, when the decisions will be announced. Our community and supporters deserve the very best from us, and it is our responsibility to ensure the Legion is providing relevant services that meet the needs of today’s Armed Forces community, and that the generous donations given to us by the public are used in the most impactful way. We are taking the opportunity to make the Legion fit for the next 100 years.”
The Echo will follow up this story over the next few days and weeks.