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Last chance to saddle up for RBLI centenary ride


Press release

June 11, 2019

Last chance to saddle up for RBLI centenary ride


Injured veterans have issued the last call for cyclists to join them in an historic event celebrating 100 years of Royal British Legion Industries and its work in providing employment, accommodation and support for wounded ex-forces personnel.

The charity's Centenary Ride takes place between July 12 and 14, setting off from its village in Aylesford, near Maidstone, before travelling across the European battlefields of the First World War, finishing for a service of remembrance and the playing of the last post at the evocative Menin Gate war memorial at Ypres in Belgium, the scene of one the Great War's bloodiest battles.

Ten veterans are expected to take part, including a team of six former Gurkhas, all of whom work for RBLI's social enterprise Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC), which manufactures pallets and signs for clients including Highways England and Network Rail.

Geoff Streetley, Managing director of BBMC, who will take part in this year's ride said: "This year is a landmark one for RBLI, commemorating the centenary of our formation in 1919 to provide support for wounded and sick veterans returning from the battlefields of the First World War.

"The RBLI Centenary Ride is a unique opportunity to show our respect for those who served their country 100 years ago, those who returned with life-changing injuries and also those of more recent conflicts, many of whom still desperately require our support - whilst also raising crucial funds for RBLI's support for injured veterans.

"We are grateful to all those who have signed up to take part in this year's ride, but there is room for more and I would encourage anyone interested not to miss out on this fantastic event."

This year's event comes after 30 people from across the country undertook the same journey in 2018 raising more than £25,000 for ex-servicemen and women through RBLI's services. 

Former Gurkha Rifle Tirtha Thapa will amongst this year's riders. He served for four years in the Armed Forces until he was medically discharged in 2012 after he stepped on a road-side bomb in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of his leg.

Tirtha, who now works in BBMC's sign making department, said: "I heard all the amazing stories of my colleagues who completed the journey last year - and I just knew this year I didn't want to miss out."

The cost of taking part in this fully supported ride is £499 which covers ride captains, support vehicles, medics, hotels for two nights with a celebration dinner on the final night, motorcycle outriders, outward channel crossing by ferry and return journey by coach and Eurotunnel.  The charity is asking participants to raise £500 for their services.

Every penny raised will go directly to supporting vulnerable veterans through RBLI's new Centenary Village at Aylesford. The riders will also be supporting RBLI's employment support programme LifeWorks, and its social enterprise, Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company, where 70% of staff are veterans, individuals with disability, or both. 

To sign-up to take part, simply visit




Pictures show:


The Gurkha team fundraising before the Centenary Ride

Tirtha Thapa


Notes to Editors

For more information about RBLI, photographs or interviews, please contact Nicholas Wesson:

Tel: 01622 795992

Mobile: 07500 602008



About RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries)

Established in 1919, Royal British Legion Industries is an independent national charity aiming to provide employment,

training and support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependents; as well as

those with a disability or health condition and those who have been long term unemployed.


        Royal British Legion Industries is a separate charity from Royal British Legion but has a shared ethos of supporting

the Armed Forces community.


         To celebrate its own milestone next year, RBLI recently launched a major campaign to secure £14m to create

a new Centenary Village close to its Aylesford headquarters from where it delivers care, accommodation, training

and employment services.


RBLI's other services:

Britain's Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) - A social enterprise which directly employs over 100 people, more

than 70% of whom are veterans, have a  disability or both. We manufacture a range of products for both the public and

private sector. This generates £5m in revenue meaning that even more employment opportunities are available for

injured or impaired ex-forces personnel and people with disabilities and health conditions


RBLI's Village - We offer accommodation, welfare support and convalescent care to more than 300 people, veterans and their families in the RBLI village in Aylesford, Kent, providing independent living through a range of independent, assisted and emergency accommodation.