Royal British Legion

#1
Just read my latest copy of the RBL magazine and totally disgusted by a quote in the letters pages stating how much is paid in saleries , 12 of them get nearly a million pounds between them plus pension contributions etc etc.
Most of the case workers , poppy day organisers and collectors never claim even milage for all the work they do.
I have phoned the membership dept and cancelled my membership , now my donations are going to H4H not to some fat cat in London.
 
#2
well done that man - I did exactly the same about 15 years ago when I realised how much of the poppy appeal takings went on "administration" - you may note that the "fat cats" are all ex mil who had lots of shiny stuff on their shoulders or arms - or they were when I said enough is enough.
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#3
TRBL "spends £1.25 milllion per week on Welfare and no-one else comes close". Legion magazine January/February 2011
I was very surprised to learn of the alleged salaries and benefits TRBL top brass earn, if this is true I'd be concerned if these came from donations, but I doubt it...However, a couple of years ago we were told that money was short and that donations were falling, so "tighten the belts".

SSAFA also does a hell of a lot, in conjunction with TRBL , for serving and Ex-Service personnel, including Housing, Prisoners' families and Prison in-reach.

Old Timer has a point; some case-workers often don't claim mileage for some of their unseen and unrecognised work, I don't. Just how far TRBL are going, to tackle the diminishing membership, closing Clubs, and image of TRBL, remains to be seen. Problems, along with membership issues, must lie ultimately with the leadership of those (only) organisations which actually provide a lifetime of support and care long after Help for Heroes has done its job. Reports of fat cat activities won't help them take the service charities forward.
 
#4
In a similar vein I saw a job advert in The Times this week for the next Chairman of the ABF - £80K wage plus package.......I wonder how much the Parry's pay themselves at H4H? Probably a lot less and frankly it was them that put our "own" charities to shame when Afghan turned sour.
 
#5
In a similar vein I saw a job advert in The Times this week for the next Chairman of the ABF - £80K wage plus package.......I wonder how much the Parry's pay themselves at H4H? Probably a lot less....
I think you may have guessed wrong, if H4H figures quoted previously on ARRSE are correct.
 
#6
I am also a Legion Member but I have not got as far in the magazine to look at the accounts.

However what has gripped my poo is the advertising flyer from 'The Tax Refund Company/Personal Taxation Services Ltd' Stating;

LEGION A Special Service for Readers of Legion Magazine Tax Refund! Are you due one? 1 in 3 people who fill out this form receive a refund. etc etc.

WHAT THEY DO NOT MAKE CLEAR IS THAT THEY CHARGE YOU 41% OF THE MONEY RECOVERED i.e. 41 pence per pound, you only recieve 59 pence per pound.

This is in the small print at the bottom of the form.

I feel these people are profiteering and these type of adverts have no place in the Legion Magazine and shame on the indiviual who accepted/allowed this advert.

The members of the Legion who could do with a Tax refund can hardly afford to give up 41% of it.

I am writing to the magazine to express my views on this subject.

I feel that an article giving advice in the magazine on how to claim a tax refund yourself is required.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I gave up on TRBL over ten years ago when it was obvious that the political game of ensuring the upper echelons were well satisfied came before the idea of the original concept of just collecting for those in need.
 
#8
I've never been a member. When I was first demobbed (medical discharge) I went to the local RBL thinking it would be a good place to have a drink, chat with some like minded people and generally have a pleasant evening out.

What a let down! I was ignored by virtually everybody and those that deigned to speak to me were bloody rude. Maybe it was just a bad branch, but my experience then has put me off getting involved for life.
 
#9
Unfortunately the RBL has had to learn to sink or swim due to the rapid emergence of H4H. The 'old fashioned/traditional' approach to fundraising has been blown away. Our local branch recently had a talk from the County Fundraising Support Officer (or some such title) and it was full of corporate speak that alienated the majority of the audience. However, wether we like it or not, that is way ahead.
 
#10
When I did some work at their new HQ, I was unhappy that they'd chosen a prime site, rather than settling for somewhere at the cheaper end of the market.

Didn't they also con the clubs into transferring the locally-held ownership to the central branch, allowing them to build up a large investment portfolio and flog off the weak investments without recourse to the members' wishes?

I've never had any problems with the people in the clubs but have noticed that the proportion of ex-services members seems to be declining. The peeps at the bottom still do a valiant job, ex-services or not, so my custom for poppies remains assured. I'd like to see RBL devolve to branch level, but can't see it happening given that HQ seem to be in sole control.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
#11
In the light of what is said above regarding 'fat cats', I feel so very sorry for two ex World War two poppy sellers who are close neighbours of mine. In their late eighties, the two of them exhaust themselves each November in all weathers to gain funds for ex servicemen. It is the absolute highlight of their year to unselfishly do this.
 
#12
In the light of what is said above regarding 'fat cats', I feel so very sorry for two ex World War two poppy sellers who are close neighbours of mine. In their late eighties, the two of them exhaust themselves each November in all weathers to gain funds for ex servicemen. It is the absolute highlight of their year to unselfishly do this.
Hear, hear and I can think of many other stalwarts. A previous poster suggested that it is not TRBL/TRBLS who have changed the game, but H4H. A good thing? Perhaps, but possibly not entirely. Discuss.
 
#13
There appears to be a lot of misconceptions around concerning the roles of the RBL, SSAFA, ABF, H4H and the military charities generally and as both a 'believer' and volunteer worker in the RBL may I offer some guidance to those who seem to be in the dark.

The only 'real' provider of instant and comprehensive welfare help is undertaken by the RBL - FACT.
Find yourself homeless, cold, tired, hungry

Being evicted, taken to court for priority debts e.g. rent arrears, utility bills, council tax etc.

Kids need feeding, clothes etc

then call the RBL welfare and they will provide all that is needed, within the day.
Can you get that from any other military charity? NO.

SSAFA ( and I work for them too) generally have no financial resources to remedy the above - they go to RBL, Regts, Corps etc and ask for the funding which takes time. Yes I know it can be speeded up but they have no full time welfare staff with the cheque books ready to act.

ABF - generally only accessible funds are via the regimental system.

H4H - a great organisation which has transformed and awakened the public to the more recent issues around Iraq and Afghanistan. However as a wounded Ghurka veteran of the Falklands recently said ' I'm a hero but no one is helping me' the H4H concept fits few of the mass of needy vets. Few if any of the general public are aware that their money going to H4H only helps those of the Iraq and 'ghan by way of capital projects and not individuals. Tell them this and they show great surprise, followed by 'why not all?' - even Mrs VOG and her 'witches coven' after baking cakes x 1000, knitting cushions/blankets x 10000 etc to raise money for H4H (and VOG Mark 2 in 'ghan) was unknowing of the true use of H4H funds.

In my opinion the RBL branch system is 'flawed' outside that of the annual Poppy Appeal. It is great to stand outside Tesco in the rain, with medals, beret - awareness factor 10/10, dedication of the membership 10/10 but the big brass comes via the big events i.e. H4H. Its approach is well defined, youthful, dynamic, modern and without the necessity of sizable head office staff, branch network and a club image of dubious, cheap boozers, not all but seen that way by many. To place more responsibility for welfare on branches will cause further decline, their job is to raise awareness and money for the Legion, then pass it back to HO for welfare cases.

The Legion directors/ senior management are now seemingly being drawn from successful industrial positions, a policy which has benefited the now combined charities of Age Concern and Help the Aged - AGE UK.



Thus ends the Epistle Mark 1 for today ' cos its late. No doubt this topic will run on tomorrow and for 'Hackles' benefit, I too wore a red and white for many years.
 
#14
Being evicted, taken to court for priority debts e.g. rent arrears, utility bills, council tax etc.

Kids need feeding, clothes etc.
Are you saying that the RBL are paying debts/bills for people who wont look after themselves? Paid for by the donations of those who arent so reckless with their cash?
 
#15
Quite correct !!! But who defines recklessness, bad luck, misfortune, inability to manage due to mental illness, infirmity, marriage breakdown, death etc when a family or individual needs a roof over their heads? Do we wait for a public RBL Means Test committee to sit in every village and have a vote on the merits of the case? with questions like 'Is MY money being wasted' ? - When will we see a return on our investment? .

When F M Haig started the RBL 90 years ago did he say 'Only help the lads who actually were in France in a muddy trench, those with only one leg/arm or those who can prove that they really only need one slice of bread rather than two?

NO !
 
#16
Quite correct !!! But who defines recklessness, bad luck, misfortune, inability to manage due to mental illness, infirmity, marriage breakdown, death etc when a family or individual needs a roof over their heads? Do we wait for a public RBL Means Test committee to sit in every village and have a vote on the merits of the case? with questions like 'Is MY money being wasted' ? - When will we see a return on our investment? .
Err yes if you don't mind. If you are in debt that is your fault, no one else. Not the goverment, not the army, not the MOD. No surprise that you brought mental illness into it. Why not just say PTSD? That seems to be the standard excuse for running up debt and hoping other people can bail you out.
When F M Haig started the RBL 90 years ago did he say 'Only help the lads who actually were in France in a muddy trench, those with only one leg/arm or those who can prove that they really only need one slice of bread rather than two?

NO !
Did F M Haig say buy an expensive car, LED TV, get a massive mortgage etc because I'm setting up a charity to help you out when you can't afford it?

NO!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#17
Hear, hear and I can think of many other stalwarts. A previous poster suggested that it is not TRBL/TRBLS who have changed the game, but H4H. A good thing? Perhaps, but possibly not entirely. Discuss.
Istr there was a thread on Arrse somewhere when H4H was a twinkle, in which H4H touted themselves around the Arrse community looking for moral support. I remember at the time there were a lot of questions rightly asked here (for instance "What do you offer that other organisations like say BLESMA don't?"), but satisfactory answers there were none.

However the opinions of the public at large (who have probably never heard of BLESMA) gave H4H enough support to make it the success it seems to be.
 
#18
Err yes if you don't mind. If you are in debt that is your fault, no one else. Not the goverment, not the army, not the MOD. No surprise that you brought mental illness into it. Why not just say PTSD? That seems to be the standard excuse for running up debt and hoping other people can bail you out.


Did F M Haig say buy an expensive car, LED TV, get a massive mortgage etc because I'm setting up a charity to help you out when you can't afford it?

NO!
You seem to be generalising somewhat - everyone's case is different. Some are, no doubt, caused by recklessness or frivolity whilst others will have ended up in debt through no fault of their own and I would hope each case is considered individually.
 
#19
But surly H4H is for the care of Serving soldiers, Which IMHO is a f@cking national disgrace, and judging by some of the posts I just can't wait for some of you gobby cnuts to get old, loose a loved one, find yourself alone, and the thousands of other reasons why the RBL are needed, they might by a bit flawed but WTF would we do without them, I'm 60 and have never had a penny from anyone but I know of hundreds of former service men who have through no fault of their own fallen on hard times , and the only people that gave a shite were the "overpaid and useless" RBL who got off their arses and got things done
 
#20
I've never been a member. When I was first demobbed (medical discharge) I went to the local RBL thinking it would be a good place to have a drink, chat with some like minded people and generally have a pleasant evening out.

What a let down! I was ignored by virtually everybody and those that deigned to speak to me were bloody rude. Maybe it was just a bad branch, but my experience then has put me off getting involved for life.
Maybe not, I left the mob in the early nineties and on attempting to join the local British Legion was treated in a similar fashion. Many Legion clubs are a cheap drinking place for odd people, a large proportion, it would appear, have never served.
 

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