Despite COVID in 2020, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity supported more beneficiaries in acute need than in 2019

As the Royal Marines’ own charity, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity is uniquely placed to understand, respond and react, enabling Marines and their families to overcome their challenges, including life-changing injury, life-limiting illness, mental illness, transition to civilian life and even poverty. 

In 2020, COVID-19 impacted on every aspect of our work and activity. Our priority was to provide support to the vulnerable members of our community, those suffering from the economic and social impacts of Coronavirus and particularly those who may have even greater troubles due to the social distancing measures imposed, especially our 4000+ veteran members aged over 70. 

2020 saw needs rising across every sphere of our work, following trends from previous years but exacerbated by the pandemic.

Despite the challenges of working remotely ad with more complex cases, we are pleased to report that over 200 more individuals in acute need were assisted in 2020 than in 2019, which itself saw a rise of 200 over 2018:

  • 1,896 individuals (1,482 veterans, 414 serving) were supported against 1,662 in 2019
  • 810 (a 22% increase over 665 in 2019) received funding support of over £690,000, part of total grants spend of over £3.6M
  • 298 employment cases (129 serving, 124 veteran) were supported, and 75 assisted into employment, against 71 in 2019. In 2020 this work saved the State over £2.1M in benefits to those who would have otherwise been unemployed
  • 60 battling alcohol use (28 serving, 32 veteran) were supported, against 43 in 2019. Had those 28 serving been discharged, the training of their replacements would have cost the taxpayer £3.5M
  • 126 Armed Forces Compensation Scheme cases (94 serving, 109 veteran) received advocacy, against 117 in 2019, an increase of 8%
  • 113 (7 dependants of serving personnel and 106 veterans) received funded courses of mental health therapy, against 92 in 2019, an increase of 23%
  • 93 new vulnerable leavers were supported by our Transition Support Officers
  • 10 organisations assisting Royal Marines in recovery were supported by funding of over £180,0224, benefiting 30 individuals directly
  • Rock to Recovery coached 194 from the Corps Family (14 serving, 47 dependants and 133 veterans) against 193 in 2019, with RMA funding of over £100,000

We carried out a sector-leading suicide prevention campaign, ‘Lifting the Lid’, which has been praised by the Samaritans, NHS and Zero Suicide Alliance.

In autumn 2020, we also completed the build of the Gordon Messenger Centre, a community facility at the Commando Training Centre – the heart of the Corps – to enable more resilient individuals and families. At a cost of over £2.6M, the Centre has been granted to the Corps and is expected to benefit over 50,000 in its first 30 years of life.  

All this was achieved despite the COVID-19 crisis removing a significant proportion of our fundraising capability with net income reduced against budget by over £800,000 at £2.4M. Our community – especially our branches – reacted marvellously with ingenious challenges to this income crisis through a Heroes at Home campaign which originally had a target of £10,000 but which raised £130,000.

We calculate the social value of the Charity’s work using Government approved measures. Again, despite the COVID challenges, more social value was created in 2020 than 2019:

  • Social Value Created in 2020: £4.5M, against £4M in 2019
  • Financial grants support to the Corps Family: £316,063
  • Value added to Corps through evidenced retention: £3.5M
  • Gordon Messenger Resilience Centre: £2,617,673
  • Total value created in 2020: £11,024,612, against £10,146,005 in 2019

Every £1 donated was turned into £2.48 of charitable value delivered

Jonathan Ball
Jonathan Ball, CEO

Chief Executive Jonathan Ball commented: “I am extremely fortunate to be leading a fantastic team at RMA-The Royal Marines Charity, which responded to the COVID-19 challenge with characteristic Commando Spirit and Mindset – we responded, understood, adapted and overcame our challenges in order to support even more of our Corps Family in need than in previous years. Thank you to them and our Trustees for their oversight and guidance.

“I would like to thank our wonderful and faithful donors and supporters, who also responded last year with energy, ingenuity and generosity in order to raise vital funds to enable our work to continue.

I’d also like to thank the numerous charity, statutory and business partners who collaborate with us and provide funding. We continue to value and need all our supporters – since need will continue to rise, so will our delivery costs.

“Looking forward, we have a robust plan for recovery and renewal which will ensure that as we celebrate RMA’s 75th anniversary we will be able to continue to deliver the best possible support to the Corps Family in need, while encouraging as many as possible to join our Association of over 16,000, which now has 91 branches worldwide.”