Over the eleven years we have been supporting the wider naval family we have come to better understand what distinguishes those who are most able to cope with the demands being made on those who serve and their family members, namely strong and supportive communities.

The physical manifestation of our philosophy to play our part in building community resilience is no better demonstrated than in the flagship project we are nearing completion on in the heart of the married quarters estate in Helensburgh, on the West coast of Scotland.

In the early 1960s, the Drumfork Club families centre was opened to coincide with the arrival of the Polaris nuclear deterrent boats at Faslane. Whilst the submarine fleet has been upgraded, the families’ centre remains much as when it first opened and is now in a decaying and deeply unattractive state.

With the decision to move the Royal Navy’s entire submarine fleet to Faslane within the next four years, the community, including 43 Commando RM, in and around the base will grow to over 8,000 family members.

The RNRMC has identified the need to deliver much-needed support to families by completely refurbishing the Centre, updating its IT capability and putting in a nursery facility. The need for a modern, flexible and fit for purpose community centre, confirmed by a Community Needs Analysis study, is undoubtedly greater than for many other naval bases which are closer to urban centres and communications routes.

Breathing new life into the Drumfork Club is the largest single fundraising project ever undertaken by the RNRMC. The project was kick-started by a grant from the government’s LIBOR fines fund and boosted by funds from our own resources and from a range of charitable partners. The final kitting-out and equipment purchase is underway, which many voluntary and community groups are relying upon, to enable them to make full use of the new facility.