By HRH The Princess Royal – Patron
At the beginning of 2020, as Patron, I was invited to open the Drumfork Community Centre on the West coast of Scotland, the biggest demonstration to date by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity of building community resilience and support for Royal Navy families.
Little did anyone know then the importance and relevance of building community resilience among dispersed naval families who, like the rest of the country, have gone on to experience a sustained period of widespread disruption to their daily lives which has brought with it, in many instances, loss, grief and financial hardship.
We may live in uncertain times, but the Royal Navy has lost none of its famous resolve or lowered its operational tempo. It continues to protect our interests, support our allies and shoulder its responsibilities, wherever in the world they are at stake.
As the national charity of the Royal Navy, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has matched this resolve with no let-up or disruption to its grants programmes or in its commitment to provide the support on which so many sailors, marines, veterans and their immediate families rely, particularly those who cannot be supported elsewhere. The RNRMC Hardship Fund enabled the sixty or so partner organisations the Charity works with to apply for additional funding in order to maintain their services and respond to increased need throughout the crisis.
The 75th anniversary of both VE and VJ Day this year was a poignant reminder of another existential threat to our nation, which the Royal Navy played such a critical role in overcoming. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all naval veterans who continue to contribute to our way of life, long after they leave the Service and for whom this year’s restrictions have been especially challenging. The Charity is developing a nationwide Befriending Project for veterans and building on the sense of community and camaraderie across the nation that has been so inspiring to see in the face of the pandemic.
The role of the charity sector in fostering community cohesion, individual wellbeing and bridging social divides will be critical to the national recovery. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has achieved a very great deal in tackling both the effects of service to the nation and their causes in the dozen years since its foundation. Now more than ever, I urge you to give it whatever support you can so that it continues to have the confidence and wherewithal to grow and develop.
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.