Mess members of HMS Collingwood's Wardroom have donated valuable funds to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) raised from a horseracing sports night.

The fundraising effort was undertaken as part of a launch event celebrating the newly refurbished and rebranded Wardroom bar, ‘Woody’s’ – a £30,000 project that was paid for by the charity’s Naval Service Amenity Fund.

Photo (left to right): Members of the charity's grantmaking team; WO1 (MEM)(SM) Gary Nicolson,  WO1 Rick Todd RM, Sarah-Jayne Craig (RNRMC), WO1 (WONS) Steve Cass, Lt Cdr Charles Stewart RN, Anne Carr (RNRMC), Cpl Alan Jackson, CPO PT Tony Newcombe

Fundraising effort

The horseracing night was hosted by the Wardroom, with members of the Warrant Officer’s and Senior Rates (WO&SR’s) Mess invited to attend. Approximately 70 people attended, including a team of Senior Rates in fancy dress, and a large contingent of Officers-under-Training from Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) Dartmouth who were in the area to conduct Sea Survival Training. These young men and women, who have been in the Royal Navy for only a few weeks, were extremely enthusiastic and supportive and contributed significantly to a very successful event. 

The evening’s compere, Sub-Lieutenant Lucis Han of the Royal New Zealand Navy, said: “It was a tremendous privilege to be given the honour of compering this event and I had a fantastic time! These events are so much fun for all involved – I definitely intend to organise a horseracing night when I return to the Royal New Zealand Navy”. 

On Thursday 19 November Wardroom members presented the £781.70 cheque to members of the charity’s Naval Service Amenity Fund (NSAF) who gathered at the training establishment to officially open the new space, formerly known as the ‘Buzz Bar’, and also decide on the next round of deserving projects.

Commenting on the establishment’s fundraising efforts, Gary Nicolson MBE, RNRMC Trustee and Chairman of the NSAF committee, said: “A traditional Royal Navy horseracing night sounds like the perfect way to enjoy an evening and raise funds for the navy’s charity, especially so soon after our charitable funds have been able to help them. Thanks to all those who donated.”

New facility

Executive Officer of HMS Collingwood and Wardroom Mess President Commander Andy Phenna Royal Navy said of the horseracing evening: “It was great to see young officers promoting the horse racing event, which as well as being fun raised nearly £800 for the RNRMC.”

When asked about the new facility, he said: “What we have been able to do with a grant from RNRMC and donations from the Nuffield Trust and Rebalancing Lives fund, is double the size of our evening ‘scruffs’ bar where young officers can relax after a hard days training.”

Photo: Executive Officer of HMS Collingwood and Wardroom Mess President Commander Andy  Phenna Royal Navy formerly cuts the ribbon to open the new facility alongside project officers. 

The Wardroom was built during the 1970s when the establishment was primarily a Weapon Engineering school. Since then the site has expanded greatly, accommodating the training and personnel from a number of satellite sites and Royal Naval establishments that have decommissioned.

As many as 6,700 serving personnel, 1,500 dependants and 500 civilian workers per year are expected to benefit as a result of the bar’s refresh which included structural building works as well as redecoration.