This week, our update includes a Ministerial visit, awesome sporting achievements and Falklands 40 Commemorations! 

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Mick & Steve Falklands 40 Row

What happens when one of the most experienced ocean rowers in the world joins forces with the first blind person to row the Pacific? Well, quite a lot …and their latest achievement is no exception. 

Former Royal Marine and Falklands War veterans Mick Dawson from Boston, Lincolnshire and Steve Sparkes from Exmouth, Devon, have successfully completed their 74-day, 650-mile trek from Scotland to Southsea, mostly by kayak, raising over £4,000 for RMA- The Royal Marines Charity.  

The idea behind the paddle was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, and the duration of their trip reflected the exact dates the Falklands War began and ended. 

Falklands 40 Commemorations in Portsmouth 

Over the weekend, RMA commemorated and celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, culminating with the City of Portsmouth awarding the Freedom of the City to all Falklands Veterans, the Royal Naval Association and Royal Marines Association.  

We thank the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity for their extremely generous funding support from their Falklands 40 Associations Fund. 

A £12,000 grant enabled us to offer this weekend’s activities at virtually no cost to Members, and a further £10,000 was given to Portsmouth City Council to contribute towards a commemorative dinner which was held in Portsmouth Guildhall and hosted up to 210 Holders of the South Atlantic Medal, including veterans from the Royal Marines. 

Lee Spencer – Windermere Swim  

The Fundraising Team have been catching up with everyone who supported the recent Falklands 40 events – what an amazing response and fantastic fundraising from everyone involved! Now comes to the huge task of distributing the commemorative coins to every one of the qualifying participants! 

This weekend, the team went to Lake Windermere to support the phenomenal Lee Spencer as he swam the 11-mile length of the lake. This was merely a training swim for his upcoming Triathlon of Great Britain when he takes on a Channel swim, a Lands End to John O’Groats cycle ride, and hiking the 3 Peaks (finishing with a marathon distance on the last day over Ben Nevis).  

What a fantastic day supported by the RMA Gig Club and RM veteran Jon White on the water, and the fundraising team – on the land! A whopping £714.84 was raised which will be added to Lee’s Just Giving page on the build up to his big event next month. 

Visit from Minister for Defence People and Veterans

Zoe (Darnbrough) attended a small gathering with Leo Docherty MP (Minister for Defence People and Veterans) hosted by the Commandant of Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in the Officers Mess. Mr Docherty was given a tour of CTCRM during which he met with multiple members of training who lead Hunter Company.    

The E&E team has also this week been delighted to receive cards from a couple of recent Beneficiaries, thanking them and the Charity for the support they’d been given and the impact it has made to their own lives and to that of their families. The team is humbled to receive such thanks and, in turn, says it makes them feel valued in doing the work they do. Great job! 

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust Breakfast Seminar  

Director of Health & Wellbeing, Danny Egan, attended a breakfast seminar hosted by The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. 

Delivering a presentation on our ‘Lifting The Lid’ mental health campaign, Danny spoke about the impact of the campaign within the Royal Marines community and the importance of the funding that goes towards the Armed Forces community.  

56-mile cycle in support of Falklands 40 

Our Trustee, Mark Robinson headed up a team of serving and retired Royal Marines, friends and family to cycle 56 miles through the Surrey and Sussex countryside in support of our Falklands 40 initiative. Thanks to their fantastic efforts, the team raised over £10,200 for the Corps Family. 

Team Members: Ben Mason, Nick Sjoberg, Tricia Cranwell, Andy Rowley, Russ Corn, Chris Pilling, Craig Wilson, OIly Benkert, Jamie Crittall, Jonny Norman, Chris Harrison, Una Bradley, Jeremy Woodall, Willy Stocks, Steve Langley, Jamie Stocks, Simon Bragg, Will Thompson, Caroline Thompson, Andrew King, Lesley Cathrew & Jess Robinson.

43 Commando – 3 Peaks 3 Times 

A team of four from 43 Commando Royal Marines set out to complete the UK national 3 peaks challenge three times consecutively, with the aim of setting a record time – a total ascent of over 9,000m! 

In true Royal Marines fashion, they smashed it, beating the previous record by over seven hours – with a total time of 62hr 22min. 

The challenge consisted of climbing Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike, each of which is the highest peak in its respective country. 

Cycle 357 

A very determined team of cyclists put pedal to the metal between Shropshire and CTCRM to celebrate Richie Cartman’s 50th birthday and raise money for the Charity. The distance covered 357km, one kilometre for each year since the birth of the Corps. ⠀ ⠀ 

Those joining Richie for the long ride south were Stu Millichamp, Leon Aspin, Dan Matthews, Dave Steadman, Nick Bill and John McKenzie, with Johnny Morrish and Rob Cunningham joining in along the way.