By our side, no matter what
What an outstanding year for both the Royal Navy and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. From my position it has been nothing short of amazing to watch Royal Navy Personnel delivering on operations around the world at sea, on land and in the air, be they sailor, marine, maritime reservist RFA or civil servant, not to mention all those Royal Navy colleagues supporting the amazing NHS in the battle against COVID19. But as we serve our nation both at home and away, we do so safe in the knowledge that our charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, is by our side and there for our families no matter what.
2020 has been without question a majorly disruptive year for many of us, as well as for our families, but the charity has more than risen to the challenge. RNRMC staff have adapted to new ways of working and have had to work remotely, but that has not stopped either the output, or the determination to work in partnership with many other agencies and naval charities to improve our working conditions, provide us with welfare services or extend the network of support available to our dependants in our absence. Never more so than this year, our Charity has become a beacon on which we can all depend, whether at sea or ashore.
The outstretched hand of the Charity has been hard at work over the past year, reaching further than ever before and making our working lives against the backdrop of a global pandemic that bit more bearable. Quarantined ships alongside and naval establishments across the world have faced unprecedented restrictions on stepping ashore or going outside the wire and they have been supported not only by improvements to communal areas and recreational facilities, but by surprise takeaway deliveries designed to lift the spirits of our people and give all of them – including chefs – the opportunity for some precious downtime together.
Internally, we have increased the amount of opportunities for our people to be rewarded and recognised by their chain of command, a push lead by Fleet Commander’s and Second Sea Lord’s Warrant Officer has been embraced and supported by the charity, to the extent that it has recently partnered with Parkdean Resorts to support us in recognising and rewarding exemplary service with UK holiday breaks awarded to the most deserving Royal Navy families.
As we look forward, the government has just outlined its 2030 vision for the Armed Forces which indicates a bright future ahead for the Royal Navy: 7 new classes of ship and an exponential growth in tonnage terms by 50 percent between 2015 and 2030. But for all this ambition, the omnipresent and clear and present danger to all of our people in the months and years to come will be longer term effects of COVID-19 and the adverse economic, emotional and mental health effects that remain in its wake. As one Royal Navy we can get through this together with our Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, unflinchingly by our side.
Warrant Officer 1st Class Carl “Speedy” Steedman
Warrant Officer to the Royal Navy
Trustee, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity
Featured stories from 2020
An Alliance Of Mental Health Support
At the beginning of 2020 the RNRMC became part of the Military Mental Health Alliance, an informal consortium of healthcare providers, charities and other organisations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight working in partnership to create interconnected services designed to provide mental health support for veterans, serving personnel, reservists and their families.
Keeping Families Connected When They’re Oceans Apart
During unprecedented periods of lockdown and social distancing over the last year, more people than ever have felt the sting of loneliness and isolation. Some may argue that prolonged separation from loved ones is part and parcel to all those who serve in the Royal Navy, but against a backdrop of a global pandemic and with ever-increasing enforced restrictions at home, 2020 deployments have been especially hard to bear.
Helping Along The Road To Recovery
Many Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) personnel can feel disengaged from the service through being signed off on shore for long periods of time. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) works closely with Hasler Naval Service Recovery Centre (NSRC) to support the recovery of WIS personnel and has recently provided a grant to fund a week at Pentillie Estate, Cornwall, allowing Hasler assigned ranks to gain some respite.