A final word from ROBERT ROBSON OBE, Chief Executive

A decade ago the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity was established to bring a focus to the naval charity sector. We brought over 70 funds together, each with their own professional advisors and trustee boards, under one umbrella. By simplifying these structures, removing layers and advisors, we could better understand what our beneficiaries needed from us, fundraise efficiently and deliver grants quickly and with the maximum impact.

The early years focused on creating a solid platform for our brand, and working together (something the military charity sector is very good at) both with the naval sector and our colleagues from the other Services. A structured and efficient charitable organisation emerged that could deliver an important spectrum of “through life” and “quality of life” funds benefitting the serving community, veterans, wounded and families from all ranks and rates. At the time this was a radical convergence, which also created the opportunity to have a unified voice, reduced costs and react to need quicker, as well as improved governance.

Ten years on in 2018, we’re still doing all of that and much, much more – but with the same dedication to efficiency and reacting quickly to an expanding level of need. 

Help, where it’s needed – through life
We believe in a world in which sailors, marines and their families are supported, for life. That beneficiary group today is around 750,000, of which about half have worn or wear a uniform and half are dependents. 

Over ten years we have distributed over £60m in grants. To give a sense of the growth in demand, in 2008 we managed 44 small grants that oil the wheels of life in service below £5k helping with everything from homecoming ceremonies, social events and family gatherings, and last year we issued 328. We helped four benevolent charities in 2009; last year we reached 32. We have paid 226 grants to families whose loved ones have died in service on operations or at home – a  sobering thought that keeps us focused.

Important frontline delivery charities that we make grants to, and underpin, include the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust, the RN&RM Children’s Fund, The Regular Forces Employment Charity, Combat Stress, the Poppy Factory and SSAFA, amongst many others. 

The RNRMC today
We have built, and are still building, our fundraising capability from the ground up. Our Payroll Giving scheme is award-winning, thanks to a huge amount of effort working with the Navy to raise awareness. In 2008, we raised £100k through Payroll Giving. Today we raise over £1m a year. 

Our Major Donor and Corporate programmes, whilst still in their infancy, are growing exponentially and starting to deliver good results. Nelson’s Company is a very important initiative for us, creating steadfast support is crucial for us to be able to meet a growing need. Corporate partners are able to join our new Bridge Partnership which again helps us to underpin vital support for our beneficiaries. 

We are a modern, relevant, fit for purpose charity relentlessly focused on our beneficiaries and with a constant desire to improve.  

As I prepare to “slip and proceed” as Chief Executive, I feel incredibly optimistic about the future for the Charity. Much has been accomplished, but there is much to be done and we are most grateful for your support. Thank you.