This week, our update features the value of shared goals,  watery fundraising updates, and a new monthly ‘get to know you’ section –  ‘Get the Gen in 10’!

Charity partnerships at work 

Zoe Darnbrough (pictured left) and team had the pleasure of meeting with Stuart Wright, CEO of The White Ensign Association

We are extremely proud to have close working relationships with other partner charities. 

This week, our Employment and Education Manager, Zoe Darnbrough (pictured left) and team had the pleasure of meeting with Stuart Wright, CEO of The White Ensign Association, to re-sign the Memorandum of Understanding between both parties.

The White Ensign Association is a Naval charity which informs and provides guidance to all serving and former members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, their Reserves and their families on employment, finance, resettlement and personal administration.

Similarly this week, our Health & Wellbeing team has reviewed the MoU that the RMA has with Walking With The Wounded (WWTW). This affords continued support to individuals from the Corps Family through WWTW’s Project NOVA care coordination for veterans who have been arrested or are at risk of arrest.  They also provide general case-working support, advice and guidance as well as deliver mental health support through their Head Start programme. RMA-The Royal Marines Charity funds any Veteran who requires support from any of these three areas.

Get the Gen in 10

Tom has been employed by RMA – The Royal Marines Charity since 2018, initially in a Director role with Fundraising and Marketing before moving to his current role in 2020:   

1.     In less than 20 words, describe what your job entails:   Responsible for the management and leadership of the major donor, corporate, trust, statutory and legacies income generation.

2.     Success means: Ensuring fundraising targets are achieved to sustain the charity and its delivery to our beneficiaries

3.     Best advice received? Trust your gut instinct: It will be correct at least 80% of the time

4.     First paying job? Graduate Trainee, Morgan Grenfell

5.     Craziest thing you’ve ever done? Abseiled down the BT Tower

6.     What would people be most surprised to know about you? I had a Mohican at University!

7.     What is your strangest possession? My Patterdale Terrier puppy….she’s very strange, and totally bonkers!

8.     Summer or winter? Summer

9.  Favourite music? Most things apart from Grime, especially 70’s/80’s rock.

10.  What well-known person would you like to share dinner with – and what one question would you ask them? Jurgen Klopp. No particular question, but think it would be a very entertaining evening.

Heading out to sea

Serving RM Captain Chris Abrams and friend Jamile Siddiqui are doing their own bit to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Royal Marines becoming Commandos. Aiming to raise £10,000 for the Charity, their Ocean Wave Challenge sees them heading off tomorrow (28th July) on the first of three sea endurance tests by kayak.  

The first is a circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight; while Challenge 2 will see them crossing St Georges Channel from Ireland to Wales, and then finally paddling along the south coast from Poole to Royal Marines Lympstone, arriving during Corps Family weekend.  

“There are countless examples of RMA stepping up to support its people in their time of need; some well publicised, some not so,” says Chris. “It’s this tireless work that goes on in the background that inspires me the most and I have been humbled to have seen this first-hand on multiple occasions.”

Jamile, who has never been a Royal Marine, adds: “The Ocean Wave Challenge is a chance for me to give something back to people who are prepared to give everything for this nation. I’m humbled by the achievements of the Corps and proud to be raising much needed funds for the RMA.”

Recorded for posterity

During Mick Dawson and Steve Sparkes’ mammoth 74-day,  650-mile kayak trek to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War in which they both served, they stopped off along the way to interview some of the many individuals connected with the conflict. The clips are now available to watch on their Cockleshell Endeavour YouTube channel. They form a comprehensive film archive of poignant, first-hand accounts from some of those involved in all aspects of the conflict.

Team spirit rules

This week has been a catch-up week for the community fundraising team. After a fantastic response to the Falklands 40 campaign, they have now managed to send out all the commemorative coins to the fundraisers who qualified. This has been a huge task as there were so many fabulous supporters of this iconic anniversary – thank you to everyone for the amazing fundraising and helping us to smash our target with over £89,000 raised!

And a charity football match in Nottingham over the weekend between personnel from CHF based at RNAS Yeovilton and Football4Charities raised over £100. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and for choosing to support our Charity – and the CHF team won 8-0 on the day!  

Resilience personified

‘Some things aren’t meant to be, and today I wasn’t meant to cross the Channel. Due to tide and sea conditions that were out of my ability range, I was struggling to maintain forward momentum. I only managed less than half a mile in the 3rd hour’.

It was with these words that Lee Spencer yesterday shared his disappointment that he was forced to abandon the first section of his Triathlon of Great Britain challenge –  you can catch his full message here.

However, being Lee and being the absolute personification of his determination to prove that no one should be defined by a disability, it’s most definitely not the end of this story.  Despite what he’s calling ‘just a little blip’, he is still going to head to Land’s End to get on with the second and third stages of the tough triathlon he’s set himself – to cycle the 1,036 miles to John O’Groats and, on the way, climb the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales.

We’re all in total awe of his dogged determination to embark as planned on the next stage of his challenge. We wish him all the very best and encourage as many people as possible to continue sending Lee their messages of support.  The link to his fundraising page is