Edition 24

This week, we look back on Remembrance Sunday, invite you to check out some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered through our Online Auction site, and hail more amazing work and fundraising.  

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Lest we forget…. 

Representatives from RMA – The Royal Marines Charity attended some of the many memorial parades held far and wide on Remembrance Sunday to pay tribute to all those who gave their lives in the service of their country during the two World Wars and in recent conflicts.

We attended the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and on Sunday, Royal Marines Association central office, headed by Phil Gilby MBE, Membership Operations Director (West), coordinated 100 RM Veterans at the Cenotaph in London, where the Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines as always were playing a leading role. 

Further afield, Richie Puttock, Membership Operations Director (East) was ‘magnificently hosted by the Maltese people’ over the Armistice weekend in supporting the Malta GC branch. The Royal Marines Association there fielded the largest single veterans contingent on the parades which took place at the Saluting Battery and at the main Cenotaph in Valetta – a very proud moment for all.

And at Arbroath in Scotland, Simon Giles, newly appointed Devolved Nations Veterans Strategy Manager together with Relationship Manager Scotland, Nick Holloway and Transition Support Office, Paul Barrett, joined units from 45 Commando Group in a poignant service in the Woodlands House Memorial Garden at RM Condor.

Lots of fantastic lots up for grabs

We are busy getting ready for our annual Guildhall Dinner at the end of the month – and we’re delighted to offer everyone the chance to bid on some of the truly unique and incredible Online Auction lots available with many fantastic prizes generously donated by our supporters.

These include Royal Marines experiences not usually available to the public, exciting sports’ days, holidays, a box at the 2023 Mountbatten Festival of Music, artwork and much, much more.

Most importantly, you will be supporting RMA – The Royal Marines Charity in its life-changing work.

‘Moving heaven and earth’…

John was a proud, tough, courageous Royal Marine Commando Colour Sergeant serving in Northern Ireland when, in the mid 70’s, his best mate was blown up. He couldn’t get the picture out of his mind – ‘it was like watching an old black and white movie looping inside your head’. Constant nightmares meant he couldn’t sleep. His mental health deteriorated and following a diagnosis of PTSD, was medically discharged from the Royal Marines.

For decades, he struggled with depression – he’d lost a promising career and, during many ‘dark moments’, he turned to drink. This caused serious relationship problems and his first wife eventually walked out. He had mounting debt as well as multiple physical health issues. His life was on a dangerously downward spiral. After the recent death of his mother, he received a cancer diagnosis requiring immediate chemotherapy.

He withdrew into himself, was at an all-time low and in utter desperation. His family called time and told him to go seek help and ‘stop trying to man-up’.  

This is when he contacted our Health & Wellbeing team. “They immediately moved heaven and earth to help me. They weren’t pushy but were just there, offering help and support when it mattered, getting me counselling and helping to break the loop of negativity.

They helped me turn my life around – they were there when I needed them. It beggars belief why I didn’t seek their help before – they are awesome.”

Still smiling on top of the world

It’s been another brilliant week in the Himalayas for team Resilience 2022.

They’ve yomped up the Gokyo Valley, and climbed up from Namche Bazaar via the steep track towards the high-altitude Sherpa town of Khumjung.

 “We built a small cairn, hung prayer flags and held our Remembrance Service and couldn’t have imagined a more spectacular backdrop for such a gathering with Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam forming the curtain behind us.”

They also visited the local school to present ten laptops and, with Sir Edmund Hillary’s son Peter in attendance, were entertained by the children in an open-air reception.

Resilience 22 includes two amazing Royal Marines veterans and their partners who, in trekking around the foothills of Mount Everest supported by a team of trekkers and sherpas, are raising funds for RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.

What an incredible inspiration. You can support their efforts via the button below. 

Fabulous fundraising support 

The much-awaited annual Medics Rugby match resulted in a great win for the RM Rugby team. A huge thank you to everyone involved for organising such a successful event, and to Plymouth Albion and Stonehouse for their fantastic hospitality. Heartfelt thanks go to the Ivybridge U16’s team who presented RMA – The Royal Marines Charity with a cheque for £600 in memory of a friend and teammate who sadly passed away last week. We are very grateful for their support and offer our deepest condolences.

Our Fundraising team also hosted their first ever volunteering session at the Gordon Messenger Centre (GMC) this week during a community bacon butty morning! A huge thank you to Kate, Terry and Archie for their support.

The family resilience centre is situated ‘outside the wire’, opposite CTCRM in Lympstone. The team plans to create a larger network of volunteers so there is more opportunity to hold   community events and support the wider Corps family who can access it more often to make use of the amazing facilities.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the GMC or at any of the other charity events RMA – The Royal Marines Charity holds throughout the year, please email volunteers@rma-trmc.org 

In ending, a special thank you to everyone who attended the fireworks evening at CTC and donated to RMA – The Royal Marines Charity bucket collection on the evening.