The Minister for Portsmouth, Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, has given his strong support for the work of The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) during a visit to the Charity’s headquarters at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth.

Mr Francois, who is also an MP for Rayleigh and Wickford constituency in Essex, met with senior members of the Charity’s team, local councillors and armed forces veterans on 28 April.

In a speech delivered by RNRMC Chief Executive Robert Robson, Mr Francois was told how the RNRMC, as principal charity of the Royal Navy, works in partnership with other charities to deliver support to families, veterans, and also directly to serving personnel.

In response, Mr Francois, said: “As Minister for Portsmouth I am really, really proud of what The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity does. We should never take life in a free country for granted and I believe we should be grateful to all those who put on a uniform. The Charity does an exceptional job supporting our Royal Navy and Royal Marines.”

Meeting veteran community

As part of his visit Mr Francois, a former armed forces minister, then spoke with workers and beneficiaries from Veterans Outreach Support (VOS), a Portsmouth-based charity that received £50,000 to deliver its services from the RNRMC in 2015. Mr Francois voiced his support for other local organisations who support armed forces veterans through the Government’s Corporate and Community Covenants, such as Portsmouth City Council.

Alongside Councillor Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Mr Francois heard how VOS helps support the mental and physical needs of Royal Navy and other armed forces veterans thanks to a local drop-in clinic, based at Portsmouth Maritime Club.

Robert Robson, Chief Executive Officer of the RNRMC, said of the visit: “Hosting the Minister for Portsmouth, with whom we worked closely in previous roles has been a real pleasure, and it was a great opportunity to enable him to see at first-hand the vital work of a locally based frontline charity that we support.”