Bringing Everyone Together with Improved Social Spaces

27 July 2020

In recent years loneliness and isolation has become a growing problem in the serving community and combatting this scourge is high on the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity’s (RNRMC) priorities. Social spaces, where personnel can gather, relax and spend time together, are vital for group morale. The RNRMC has always been committed to ensuring that these spaces are maintained to the highest standard, going beyond functionality to make social areas always welcoming and inviting in order to encourage social activity. 

A new-look coffee lounge and Junior Rates bar has been opened at HMS Raleigh following a refurbishment funded by the RNRMC. Known as ‘Limers’, the recreation space has been transformed into a new Naval themed area, with booth seating and tables along with new carpet, lighting and heating.  

Part of the new look space at HMS Raleigh
Part of the new look space at HMS Raleigh 

The facility is run by ESS, a division of Compass Group. The company provides catering, cleaning and retail facilities within the Torpoint based training establishment. Staff and trainees at HMS Raleigh are now able to make use of the improved facility, in restricted numbers, following the gradual lifting of restrictions implemented to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  

Admiral Tony Radakin opens 'Limers Bar' at HMS Raleigh
Admiral Tony Radakin opens 'Limers Bar' at HMS Raleigh

Captain Richard Harris, the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, said:  “As soon as I arrived in Raleigh, I took the view that Raleigh is relatively isolated from the nearest town, and the facilities were tired.  We are grateful once again for the support of the RNRMC, which has allowed us to give this facility a new lease of life for our staff, trainees, and their families to enjoy when they are able to take some time-out.”   

Admiral Tony Radakin, the First Sea Lord, cut the ribbon to formally open the facility during his recent visit to HMS Raleigh. 

The RNRMC have also provided funding for a much needed renovation of the Commando Forces Officer’s Mess at RNB Stonehouse. 

Stonehouse Officers' Mess before refurbishment
Stonehouse Officers' Mess before refurbishment... 

Years of blocked gutters and leaky roofs had caused damp and damage to the internal décor of the Mess.  With those defects rectified and the building once again weathertight it was time to refresh and redecorate the interior of this historically significant Mess, a job that hadn’t been done for over 20 years. 

The project included a full redecoration from top to bottom; replacing flaking and discoloured paintwork, peeling wallpaper and tired floors with bright paintwork, fresh and sympathetic wallpaper and stripped, polished floors. 30 Cdo’s own AE carpenters built an impressive new oak bar that finishes off the Mess with a new lighter feel. 

Stonehouse Mess
...and after!

Major Thomas Clow said: “Unfortunately, social distancing restrictions has led to the cancellation of all programmed events until at least September, but we hope to be able to make good use of the re-invigorated mess soon and for many years to come. A huge thank you to all at the RNRMC and their supporters.”