All signs point to a better future for ex-service personnel

Geoff Streetley, Managing Director
10 October 2018
Two men from RBLI
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Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company is a social enterprise, run by charity Royal British Legion Industries, which provides employment to ex-forces personnel and people with health conditions or disabilities. Producing signs for road, rail and commercial organisations, the organisation has flourished through its partnership with Amey, says Managing Director Geoff Streetley.

Leaving military life can present many challenges, especially if you have a disability. Getting back into civilian workforce is not easy or straightforward for a lot of people. That is where we step in. The aim of Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company is to help ex-service personnel maintain their independence after they leave service, by providing them with employment.

All our surplus goes into the business – meaning more opportunities

We make signs for highways, rail and other commercial clients and, as a social enterprise, we aim to be both commercially competitive and socially thriving: 100% of our surplus is invested back into the factories to offer more employment opportunities to ex-service personnel and people with disabilities, as well as provide them with any additional training they may need.

More than 60% of BBMC staff have a disability (this rises to nearly 99% for BBMC Surrey), while more than 40% of staff are either ex-service personnel or ex-service dependants. Our ex-service personnel are very loyal and 95% of them have been with us for over 12 months, as we have provided them with sustainable employment to aid their transition into civilian life. We estimate that the saving to the taxpayer per year that BBMC creates through the employment of these individuals is nearly £1m per annum.

The beginnings of the partnership

Our relationship with Amey began in 2014 following the acquisition of Enterprise, with whom BBMC had an established relationship. Our business with Amey was catalytic in our expansion into the road signs market and, without doubt, their initial trust in us paved the way for our successes within the sector. It was our first sizeable win within that space and it really helped us to form a solid foundation and propel us forwards towards progression. Since 2014, BBMC and Amey’s relationship has blossomed – last year to the tune of around £400,000.

One of our most significant achievements to date is our securing of a multi-million contract in early 2017 with Network Rail ,which saw us become their sole provider of lineside signage, while RBLI’s future efforts now look to expanding the BBMC model into Scotland and tackling unemployment amongst veterans and people with disabilities.

Amey’s trust in us was pivotal

This would not have been possible had it not been for Amey’s trust in us to supply them with high-quality products whilst also holding a strong commitment to social value.

However, it is not just the commercial aspect of BBMC that has benefited from the relationship. Amey also clearly has a very strong commitment to social value and we are proud to say that our business with them has enabled us to help more people – both former service personnel and people with disabilities – who may otherwise struggle to find work, to secure rewarding employment.

Amey helped us lay foundations – now we want to expand

While BBMC is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a fervent commitment to social value, the ultimate aim of the organisation is to continue to establish itself as a commercially-successful industry leader. This is the only way that we can continue to provide secure and sustained employment to ex-service personnel and people with disabilities, giving them a new lease of life.

Because of this we are eager to explore the potential for more factories across the UK so that we can increase our reach and also provide more employment for those who are in desperate need of the stability and the security that work can bring.

Amey has helped us lay the foundations for our business. Working with them and other forward-thinking businesses, we are now hoping to build a brighter future for many more people leaving the forces.

You can find out more about Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company here 



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