Press release -

Generous donation will aid RBLI’s Armed Forces repatriation work.

The British South Africa Police (BSAP), has made a generous donation of £1,000 to Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), as a gesture of thanks for the charity’s work in assisting the repatriation of Armed Forces Veterans returning from the Commonwealth.

The BSAP was the police force of Rhodesia. After the civil war in Rhodesia (resulting in the renaming of the country to Zimbabwe in 1980) the force ceased to exist and became the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Many of the members and their families were repatriated back to the United Kingdom.  This type of repatriation is common and can be a particularly challenging and traumatic time for those who find change difficult or have little welfare or financial support.

RBLI operates a repatriation service based within the Royal British Legion Village, at Aylesford in Kent. Working closely with both military and civilian charities around the world, RBLI, is able to assist Armed Forces and other eligible Veterans, such as the BSAP and their dependants, return to the United Kingdom to take up permanent residence again.

‘It’s fantastic to start the year by receiving such generous support,’ said former Brigadier Steve Sherry CMG OBE, RBLI’s Chief Executive, who received the £1,000 donation on Monday 7th January.  ‘We at RBLI are really proud to be able to offer services in accommodation and welfare to people from around the world who have at some stage served the crown. This donation will enable our services to benefit an even wider number of individuals requiring guidance, advice and comfort during what is often a very challenging process of transition.’

Individuals who require repatriation services normally stay at RBLI’s fully furnished Prince Philip Lodge for up to eight months.  During this time, RBLI’s welfare team support them whilst they undergo the habitual residency test, help them to maximise their income and embed themselves in the UK systems and services. Once the individuals are assimilated back into the UK lifestyle, the welfare team will support them in finding suitable permanent accommodation including adaptations that may be required for comfortable living.

Over the last ten years, RBLI’s repatriation service has helped approximately 110 Veterans and their dependants returning from the Commonwealth. Of these, 58 have returned from Zimbabwe and 28 from South Africa.  They have also recently lent their expertise to the Department of Communities and Local Government’s repatriation scheme for elderly people from Zimbabwe and to the Ministry of Defence with their Gurkha Resettlement Project.

For more information about RBLI accommodation, range of specialist welfare services including expert advice and guidance on subjects such as benefits, war pensions, well-being and employment for Veterans and their families please call 01622 795900, email or visit


  • Welfare


  • repatriation
  • welfare
  • armed force
  • charity
  • accomodation
  • south africa
  • zimbabwe
  • commonwealth


  • Kent

About RBLI
RBLI is an independent Charity that was established in 1919 to provide health and occupational care for troops returning from the Great War. RBLI continues to support veterans and their families, and in recent years the organisation has developed its client base to include people with disabilities. RBLI provides accommodation for the Armed Forces, is a Welfare to Work provider for 12,000 customers and a well-established Social Enterprise based in Aylesford Kent.

From RBLI’s head office site in Aylesford, Kent, the charity offers a range of accommodation solutions to those from the Armed Forces and their descendants. Approximately 600 residents call the Royal British Legion Village site ‘home’.

Within the Village, RBLI offers a range of family housing, single persons accommodation and assisted living schemes. Catering for most circumstances with the aim of enabling prolonged independent living.

Alongside the available accommodation, residents and members of the Armed Forces Community can access a range of specialist welfare services including expert advice and guidance on subjects such as benefits, war pensions, well-being and employment. 795900 E:

About Prince Philip Lodge
Prince Philip Lodge was built in 1992 with funds from the Royal Commonwealth Ex – Service League to help Armed Forces Veterans repatriating from Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth. The housing scheme consists of a block of six two – bedroom, self – contained flats.  These flats are fully furnished and equipped so that the returning Veterans can move in with just the clothing and possessions they can carry as luggage on the aircraft.



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