A Brief History Of the Branch
The original Branch was formed as the Leeds and Broomfield Branch in
1933. In the early 1950’s Hollingbourne Branch folded up and the
few members joined the Leeds branch.
LEEDS HOLLINGBOURNE & DISTRICT BRANCH
Registered Charity No: 219279
Branch No: BR 82
In February 1989 Bearsted & Thurnham Branch folded up and the few members
joined the Leeds and Hollingbourne Branch and it was renamed as The Leeds
Hollingbourne & District Branch. We now cover the large area of Leeds,
Broomfield, Hollingbourne, Bearsted & Thurnham. We have 63 members at the
present time and we welcome new members who do not have to be ex-service.
We raise money for recognised Legion charities, normally about £1000 per year on
top of the Poppy Appeal where we collected about £12,000 in 2006.
We organise the Poppy Appeal every year for this large area. We have 3
organisers and numerous collectors and are, every year looking for more
collectors to replace the ageing collectors. Please contact Mrs Jeanne
Davidson 01622 880650 for Hollingbourne, Mrs Mary Henderson 01622 880625 for
Bearsted and Mrs Shirley Thurgood 01622 761711 for Leeds and Broomfield, if you
feel you could give a few hours to help every Poppy Time, which is in
Branch meetings are held on the first Tuesday in the month at 8pm as
February, April, June, August and October in Leeds Memorial Hall
March, May, July, November and December in
Hollingbourne Village Hall
We have a trained welfare worker who can give help and advice to ex-service
personnel and their families and dependents. Please contact Mr Frank Burniston 01622 880402 if you need help.
What We Do
- All the year round the Legion Benevolent Fund and the Poppy Appeal
benefit from legacies and a huge variety of sponsored events and
fundraising functions. But the peak of our fundraising comes in the
run-up to the Legion’s Festival of Remembrance Sunday, when the nation
proudly remembers those who died that we might live. In early November
some 30,000 Legion volunteers take to the streets with poppies and
collecting boxes, raising millions of pounds for the Poppy Appeal thus
funding our benevolent work. You can be one of them.
HOW WE SPEND THE MONEY
- 92p out of every £1 donated to the Legion directly benefits those in
need: 40p through welfare schemes; 24p on providing work; 28p on
For more information and to join the Leeds Hollingbourne & District
Norman Dabbs on 01622 880482
For more information about the Royal British Legion, visit their
SERVICE WORK - Working closely with the Legion’s Benevolent
department and County Field Officers, the Legion’s 3,200 branch Service
committees identify need in their local communities and draw on Poppy
Appeal funds to help innumerable cases of hardship and distress, with
particular attention to 40,000 long term sick and housebound. 20,000
Legion voluntary social workers provide timely and practical help and
advice on a local level.
PROVIDING WORK - The Legion’s Training Company, with the National
Training College at Tidworth and Career Advice Centre on Merseyside, has
been established to meet the needs of those leaving or who have left
the armed services for retraining, qualifications and placement in jobs.
Capacity is 4,000 people per year.
The Legion Small Business Advisory Service and Loan Scheme advises those
leaving the services who wish to set up their own business, and
provides interest-free loans where appropriate. The RBL Attendants
Company employs more than 1,600 people as security guards and car park
attendants throughout the country. Taxi Drivers Training Scheme Grants
are made to provide training. A specialist taxi driving company has
been appointed as a Royal British Legion accredited training provider
for the taxi driver training scheme.
WORK FOR THE DISABLED
- The Legion is the largest employer of disabled people in the country.
The Legion Poppy Factory employs 100 with a further 80 working
self-employed from home. Between them they produce each year 35 million
poppies, 400,000 remembrance crosses and 90,000 wreaths. The RBL
Industries employs nearly 300 people on printing, production of road
signs and industrial pallets. It also places disabled workers in
sheltered industrial groups.
BENEVOLENT SERVICE - The Legion’s seven residential homes care for
450 ex-servicemen and women who are no longer able to care for
themselves. The Legion’s three Convalescent Homes help 4,200 people
each year to recover from illness, giving them the strength to carry on.
The Legion’s Pension Department gives free expert advice to identify
and justify claims for War Pensions and Widows Pensions to some 50,000
claimants per year, of which 10,000 are new cases. Around 3,500 cases a
year are taken to tribunals on behalf of clients.
- The RBL Housing Association now completely independent and operating
as ‘Housing 21’ has provided modern homes for more than 20,000 people.
- The Legion Pilgrimages department administers the Grant-in-Aid scheme
which helps widows on a first visit to the grave of their husband,
wherever it may be. Graves as far apart as Egypt, the Far East, France
and the France have been visited. Veterans, families and historians
have all enjoyed the atmosphere and expertise of Legion pilgrimages.
Young people of ex-service families are sponsored by the Legion while
undergoing character building activities in the community. The Legion
also supports the United World Colleges through the Earl Mountbatten
scholarship, and many other youth activities. The Legion is affiliated
to the British Youth Band Association. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Scheme and the National Youth Association.
For details of any events, go to the Calendar.