Former CBI chief, ex-government minister, serving peer and business grandee Lord Digby Jones recently marked a special birthday by asking friends to make a contribution to a cause close to his heart.

A former Royal Navy cadet, Lord Jones who has supported the rehabilitation of injured, wounded and sick servicemen and women for many years, presented The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity with an incredible £26,000 on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday.

The Naval Service has had a formative impact on the UK’s ‘Voice of Business’: Lord Jones cites the leadership and communication lessons he learned in his three-year university cadetship in the Royal Navy as fundamental to his later career success.

Lord Jones' Royal Navy link

Lord Jones joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in 1974, serving in the Mediterranean, North Sea and in the Hong Kong squadron on the minesweeper HMS Beachampton, leaving as a sub-lieutenant in 1977 to embark on his acclaimed business career. He maintains close ties with the Naval Service and is Vice-Patron of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Lord Jones says: "The Navy gave me so much, it’s time to give it back and to help this great charity that is so focused on our people who serve today, and our many veterans".

Robert Robson, CEO of The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, commented: "This is a wonderful gesture of support by Lord Jones. It will be used to help members of the Naval Service and their families as they strive to achieve their own milestones, whether rehabilitation from serious illness or injury, making the transition to civilian life or managing family life during protracted periods of deployment."