Royal British Legion still on duty during state of alarm

Reverend Doreen Cage.
Reverend Doreen Cage. / SUR
  • RBL branches are being advised to support members and beneficiaries via video meetings, social media groups and telephone

The Spain South district of the Royal British Legion has recently issued guidelines and information to help its members cope during the current state of alarm.

Welfare representatives, caseworkers, committees and members have been instructed not to hold any type of face-to-face group meetings or events by the RBL executive board. In fact the Legion has stopped all contact activity until the end of June and has cancelled its planned Annual Conference in Southport (UK) in May.

With all home visits and community awareness projects no longer taking place, the executive board is concentrating on finding different ways to support beneficiaries, and it is asking its members for suggestions and ideas on how best to employ these measures.

Alternative ways being taken up by RBL branches in Spain to support support members and beneficiaries include video meetings, social media groups and telephone calls.

Those in need of assistance can call their local branch, the numbers of which can be found on the RBL Spain South website. Committee members will endeavour to offer assistance with shopping and doctors appointments to those in vulnerable situations, as well as information on the changing situation of the crisis.

District community support coordinator and chaplain Doreen Cage told SUR in English that the Legion's "stance continues to be to serve its members and beneficiaries".

"Our community support teams continue their work within the parameters of social distancing. Home visits and hospital visits are a no-go, but telephone and e-mail communications are up and running, along with shopping for food and medicines where possible.

"Any British ex-service personnel is able to access support, be it practical or financial, after a process carried out by our fully trained case workers. Usually this is completed by visits to homes, but now this continues via e-mail and telephone," she said.

Message of hope

The support coordinator stressed that any member or beneficiary who needs help or support during the lockdown can contact her. She also offered a message of hope to all those who are struggling because of the current crisis.

"In this time of worry, fear and anxiety, I offer my prayers, thoughts and time should anyone wish to contact me."

Chairman of the Torremolinos branch, Mary Le Corney, reiterated the words of Reverend Cage, while pointing out that the Legion's objective is to help those in need.

"We will try to help with essential groceries and medicines but we are limited in what we can actually do, because many of our members are in the vulnerable category. We can all help as people, rather than being members of the RBL; community spirit is the best thing we have at the moment. Some people give up because they are left on their own, and this is the worst thing of all.

"We are still helping people and trying to do things for them just as we've always done," added Mary.