None of us would have predicted that the new decade would start like this. We are all suddenly learning what a global pandemic requires of us – and it is difficult, for everyone, not least for fundraising organisations such as the RNRMC, now facing complex decisions, not only about our fundraising activity but what that means for future income generation. Given the challenging and changing environment in which we find ourselves, it is all the more heartening that so many of our supporters have continued to assist us in our mission to value and support every sailor, marine and naval family, for life.

The charity countered the early challenges of COVID-19 by creating a Hardship Fund. This Fund allowed Individuals, charities that provide services to our beneficiaries and serving members apply for funding to deal with the initial effects of the pandemic. Most military charities are expecting to bear funding losses in the region of at least 20% and many worry about their longer-term viability. It is too early even to begin to appreciate what the effects for Beneficiaries might be, but this strengthens our resolve to ensure Beneficiaries are looked after appropriately.

In light of the pandemic, we are making changes to when and how we publish our annual Impact Report, so that content is contemporaneous and reflects the current challenging environment in which we are all operating. We have picked out several stories which reflect the breadth of our work in the calendar year 2019, but our focus will be to produce a comprehensive Review of the Year 2020 to be published at the end of January 2021, and at the same time each year thereafter. This will replace the annual Impact Report, typically published in quarter three and will ensure that we report the impact of our work in a timely manner.

The first Review of the Year, to be published in January 2021, will set out the aims and progress made across the RNRMC’s seven Funding Programmes and commissioned services, informed by our own 2018 comprehensive Need Report. Many of these programmes have been shaped and developed over the course of 2020.

Also in 2020, the Trustees approved the revised Strategic Objectives:

  • We will work with other charities operating in our sector to establish a confederation or alliance in order to provide those in need within our beneficiary group with a single point of access to the totality of state and charitable support available;
  • Acting with other naval charities and key stakeholders, we will ensure that our potential beneficiaries are made aware of the support that is available to those who need it;
  • We will collaborate with Greenwich Hospital to agree funding priorities, and secure a long-term financial arrangement from Greenwich to deliver the RNRMC’s charitable objects;
  • We will commit to spending over 50% of our charitable expenditure on collaborative and long-term commissioning projects with other charities and organisations which seek to address underlying causes of need, whilst continuing to make other grants as the need arises; and
  • Recognising the need to act decisively, we will undertake bold and far-reaching plans and projects with our partners that will draw-down substantially on our total net assets

And we also articulated what we hope to achieve from these objectives:

  • An explicit focus on the needs of RNRM beneficiaries – promoting resilience, the lived experience, independence, and dignity.
  • Increased support to more beneficiaries • Increased likelihood of finding the hidden, lost and lonely and them being able to find the support they need
  • Strategic alignment of the RN Charity Sector through a single triage/support/navigation system • Increased credibility and reputation of all Naval charities
  • The potential of increased retention of serving personnel

Our Review will provide an update on our progress against these objectives and gauge to what extent we have achieved the desired outcomes.

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Our Year in Numbers