On The Horizon
Two pilot projects bringing our strategy to life
Reaching Out By Your Side
The “Reaching Out By Your Side” Programme brings together the RNRMC in co-production with working partners to tackle loneliness and isolation for older Royal Navy and Royal Marines veterans across the UK. Initiated in 2020, the group members will establish how best to identify and connect vulnerable veterans through support services, comradeship and improved communications with family and friends. To kick-start the project, the RNRMC have funded a new position of Welfare Programme Manager for The Royal Naval Association, who will be responsible for the development and delivery of welfare services. As part of its strategy to modernise its offer to members, remove barriers to membership and support vulnerable veterans, the Royal Naval Association is waiving its membership fees for both the serving and veteran community (the RNRMC is underwriting its operating costs for the first year) enabling it to ‘reach out’ and connect with more past and present Royal Navy servicemen and women than ever before. Indeed, since January more than 700 new members have joined.
A key aspect of the project is also working with SPARKO TV to allow isolated older veterans to connect with friends and family and access support and social activities via an easy-to-use device connected to their televisions. Combatting loneliness and isolation will improve mental health and wellbeing, help individuals develop a stronger sense of comradeship and social connection, and give them the confidence to access further support and services. As an initial trial, the RNA will identify and connect 200 Royal Navy veterans in and around Birmingham and Walsall, Newcastle Upon Tyne and North Shields, and Liverpool. As well as unlimited video calling the selected veterans will have access to a comprehensive and varied range of specially curated content through their television sets appealing to their interests. The RNRMC is currently recruiting volunteers to help put together archive footage, photographs, films, news and content that will spark the interest of naval veterans and help them to reminisce.
Project Dynamo, an evidence-led project with a singular focus on beneficiaries, continues to break new ground for us. The overarching aim is to build on the RNRMC’s understanding of need following on from its own Need Report from 2018 and better understand and identify the gaps and overlaps in order to develop a blueprint for holistic welfare support across the Naval Charity Sector, in partnership with other military charities, as well as other, including state departments. It is hoped that Dynamo’s findings will help migrate the Charity and the sector from reactive assistance to proactive, holistic support that focuses on prevention and early intervention across all segments of our beneficiary family.
Key sector commentators, including Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities, have noted that the combined existential threats of Brexit and Covid-19 will most notably impact on the ability of personnel to transition successfully. Therefore, we have prioritised an initial pilot project that focuses on vulnerable service leavers and their families. The aim will be to evidence the value of active support for vulnerable leavers as they transition, sometimes with little or no notice. In addition, and importantly, further lessons will be gathered to steer the evidence required to propose a triage and navigation model for the most complex pathways of support required by our beneficiaries. The majority of those who are transitioning (and their families) either voluntarily or at the end of their planned engagements are supported for up to two years prior to their planned departure from the Service, and the resettlement and transition policy and apparatus is primarily focused on building their preparedness to successfully manage the reintegration into civilian society. The vast majority manage this transition successfully. This pilot is not for them but rather for those who will likely find achieving an acceptable quality of life as a civilian difficult without additional support.
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.