The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) has joined forces with Relate, the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, to offer counselling for Naval personnel and their families in Portsmouth.

The partnership will contribute to the overall aim of the RNRMC, improving the lives of all who serve or have served, and their families. It can help personnel in many ways by providing face-to-face or telephone relationship support; family and young people counselling; and sex therapy, through a series of counselling sessions, which are fully-funded by the Charity.

At this stage the pilot programme is limited to twelve beneficiaries in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire (Gosport, Fareham and Havant), however it will expand to other areas if successful.

First steps into a longer-term partnership

Anne Carr, Head of Grants at the RNRMC, said: “We see this pilot as a key part of enhancing the well-being and morale of the Service, in addition to supporting families. We are very keen on extending the programme to other areas so hopefully this is the first step in a longer-term partnership.”

Rachel Aslet-Clark, Centre Manager at Relate Portsmouth and District, said: “We find people tend to be quite nervous about their first session but our counsellors quickly put people at ease. Our counsellors are pretty unshockable and understand the realities of service life. Last year, in just the Portsmouth area, we provided 3,000 confidential counselling sessions. Relationship support is not unusual or anything to be embarrassed about.”

The sessions will focus on couples and individuals who have concerns arising from their adult couple relationships, those who are experiencing sexual dysfunction problems, family members seeking help with difficulties affecting their relatives and young people’s relationships, amongst other services.

Contact Relate

Interested Naval personnel have to self-refer into the service by calling the local number 023 9282 7026 and quoting 'RNRMC' or visiting the website at www.relateportsmouth.org.uk.