This week, our update includes  –  why we bagged a Gold Award, yet more amazing fundraising successes hitting the news… and departmental updates.

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Charity receives coveted Gold Award! 

We’re thrilled to be the proud recipient of the coveted Gold Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) for excellence in aligning our values to the Armed Forces Covenant and inspiring others to do the same – and only a year after we secured Silver.

Gold Award status is the highest ERS accolade granted by the Ministry of Defence. It is given to acknowledge those outstanding employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community.

Our Chief Executive, Jonathan Ball, says: “We are proud of our support to the employment of military veterans and spouses which ensures that there is inbuilt empathy for all our beneficiaries.

We are also passionate about promoting the Armed Forces Covenant and its Employers’ Recognition Scheme, so that more companies are drawn in to support the Armed Forces community, and also benefit from the skills and value that veterans and military spouses bring to UK society.”

The ERS Gold Award is prestigious recognition of the Charity’s achievements in fulfilling its commitment . In 2021, this included advising 479 beneficiaries with employment and education advice (up 46.6% on 2020) – 375 serving and 104 veterans; and directly supporting 34 into employment (20 medically discharged, 6 veterans and 8 early leavers).

Fundraising from a groovy birthday party….

The Community Fundraising Team had lots to do to prep for the 60th  birthday party of Mark Slatter (Olympian Homes) in West Sussex at the weekend.  It was a groovy 60’s themed event with fairground rides, an auction and entertainment from various bands including the Bootleg Beatles and the RMA Concert Band. Guests were extremely generous and the event raised a huge £55,700 which will be split between RMA – The Royal Marines Charity and Adaptive Grand Slam.

The team is extremely grateful for the hospitality of Mark and his wife Amber for their incredible support and for inviting the Charity into their home – thank you for an incredible weekend.       

…. to England’s streets and hills…

In London, 14 personnel from RMR London took to the streets with their 56-mile fundraising yomp – and, to date, they’ve  raised over £1,190.

The weekend was also busy with Ultra Marathon challenges. The ‘Threshold Trail Race to the Stones’ challenge in Oxfordshire took place in blazing heat and many  runners  were forced to drop out due to severe heat exhaustion. However, our own RSM Lee Drinkwater wasn’t one, and he successfully completed what was  his third ultra event in a six-week period;  Heather Crawford also beat the heat to complete her second in as many weeks! What an amazing achievement for them both as well as for Mark Rees who also completed the challenge on behalf of the Charity. They overcame  huge personal challenges with injuries  pushing their resilience to the limit. Between them they’ve raised a £5,687! Huge thanks to this magnificent trio.

…to putting pedal to the metal!…

A team of 50 ranks from Y sqn at 30 Cdo incredibly cycled a total of 4,956 miles during the 24/7, week-long Watt Bike Challenge. Each of the two ranks cycling at a time during  six hour stints rode between 80 and 133 miles.

To date, they’ve raised £3,483, putting the Sqn currently 3rd out of 24 teams on the RMA80 team fundraising chart – yet another awesome  achievement!

…and finally – all at sea! 

Many congrats and huge thanks to former RM Commando Paul Wood and friend who   completed a 30-mile swim between Sidmouth and Paignton in Devon  in  a gruelling 22 and a half hours. They not only raised  £10,500 for the Charity but also used the challenge to raise awareness of our ‘Lifting the Lid’ mental health awareness campaign. 

Thank you as always to everyone involved in all these amazing challenges for the ongoing commitment in raising vital funds for the Charity. There will never be enough adjectives to say how much it means to our entire Royal Marines Family..

Celebrating the French Connection

Nick Holloway, our Relationship Manager (Scotland) Joined CO 43 Cdo and the Northern Regional Commander at Achnacarry Castle and the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge where they met up with their  French Commando counterparts. The group was visiting to celebrate 80 years since the first bérets verts were trained at the original commando school at nearby Achnacarry.

Music in remembrance

On Sunday, we supported the Deal Memorial Band Concert. The event is dedicated to the members of the Band Service who were killed when the IRA bombed the Royal Marines Band room at Deal Barracks in Kent in 1989.

A time for remembrance, but also celebration as we remembered those we lost and what music meant to them.