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Bridlington's Alderson House Could Close

Bridlington's Alderson House Could Close

Published by Matthew Pells at 6:01am 21st November 2019.

The Royal British Legion's holiday home in Bridlington could be closed as part of a restructuring of the organisation.

Alderson House is a Royal British Legion Poppy break centre on the seafront in Bridlington which provides a seaside getaway for former and serving forces personnel and their families.

Now as part of a wider strategy review the Legion is consulting with staff about closing all four of it's hotels including Alderson House.

As part of the review, the Legion says it is looking at how it is structured, and if charitable funds are being spent effectively on the greatest needs of those who are seeking help.

The organisation says the review is needed due to the changing needs of the armed forces community which it identifies as

  • The Armed Forces community is decreasing in size with both fewer serving personnel and a declining older veteran population from the Second World War.
  • The older members (75 years +) of the Armed Forces community are living longer, increasing the demand for support services connected to old age.
  • Peoples’ needs are increasingly complex, ranging from employment, financial, housing, mental health and wellbeing, and care. Individuals often have multiple needs, for example someone may need financial support as well as housing.
  • There are reductions in the scale and range of welfare support provided by the State, for example the reductions in local authority funding for adult social care, and the prolonged roll out of Universal Credit has at times left our community without access to benefits.

In a document explaining the review the Royal British Legion says...

"The Legion is taking action to evolve in line with the changing environment and meet the complex needs of the people we support. Under our emerging strategy the Legion will refocus resource to be as effective as possible in welfare provision whilst enhancing regional and local campaigning and Remembrance activities.

Proposals include investing more in personalised support, strengthening collaborative work by funding external specialist and localised organisations, and reinvigorating the charity’s care work with older veterans. The Legion is now consulting with staff members about proposals on whether to close the charity’s four hotels and discontinue its home maintenance service, as both areas of support are available through other providers or more cost-effective means."

It's understood staff in Bridlington were told about the review at a meeting this week. The review is expected to be completed in January. The Legion say that no redundancy notices have been issued.

Alderson House is expected to remain open during the review process but the hotel's website states

"We are not currently taking new applications for the Family Holiday service."

Martin Jolly is Chair of the Bridlington branch of the Royal British Legion, the local branch are not directly involved in the running of Alderson House but do support the facility through fundraising and activities.

Martin says the closure proposal was a surprise.

Martin says it's a difficult situation for the local branch.

The Royal British Legion’s Director General, Charles Byrne, said:

“The community we serve and our supporters deserve the very best from us, and it is our responsibility to ensure the Legion is providing relevant services that meet the needs of today’s Armed Forces community, and that the generous donations given to us by the public are used in the most impactful way. We are taking this opportunity to make the Legion fit for the next 100 years.

People are coming to us with multiple needs where simply providing transactional support is not the long-term solution. We are seeing desperate people at their lowest ebb, people that can’t afford to pay their rent or feed their families, and we must prioritise our funds based on the most urgent calls for help.

We are putting forward proposals to ensure the charity can address the challenges ahead of us. These include increasing resource in order to better personalise our support and build plans to fit each individual’s needs, bolstering our care services for older members of our community, and grant funding external organisations who are providing specialist or localised support which meet the needs of our community in a way the Legion cannot through our existing services.

However, to start more of this work we do need to stop doing something else, which has led us to put forward proposals on our four hotels and home maintenance service. We do not make these proposals lightly and we are well aware of the impact the proposals could have on our staff who have made hugely valuable contributions to the charity’s work. Over the coming months we will be ensuring our staff’s voices are heard and that they play a vital part in the decisions that we face.”

The Royal British Legion is the nation's biggest Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. The Legion champions Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red poppy.


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