Raising Awareness for the Support available for Foreign and Commonwealth personnel

Event, Grants
30 October 2023

At RMRNC, we have long recognized the invaluable contributions of the Commonwealth personnel to the naval community. Their dedication, expertise and wealth of experience have been instrumental in fostering camaraderie and enhancing operational capabilities within our forces. This event aims to raise awareness of the support made available to them, other RN personnel and families by RNRMC, NFF Aggies and other sector charities.

Mandy Lindley, RNRMC director of Relationships and Funding

In November 2022, RNRMC was successful in its application to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) for funding of £100,000 to provide support for Foreign and Commonwealth Royal Navy personnel. In September this year, RNRMC, Aggie Weston’s (Aggie’s), the Naval Families Federation (NFF) and other naval charities worked in partnership to organise an event to raise awareness of the support available for Foreign and Commonwealth personnel and their families.  

The first of its kind, the event was hosted over lunchtime at the School of Logistics Policing and Administration, located in Worthy Down, on the 26th of September. The event took place here due to the high percentage of Foreign and Commonwealth personnel at Worthy Down. The informal event was elevated significantly by the world-class buffet of food and drink that was prepared by trainees, which showcased the breath and versatility of the training provided at Worthy Down School of Logistics Policing and Administration. The plantain fritters were a particular favourite of RNRMC!  

Although the event was hosted at the School of Logistics Policing and Administration in Worthy Down, the Immigration advisers, Pastoral workers and other support services are available throughout the Royal Navy. Pete Hawley, NFF immigration adviser, (pictured below with Sophie Raza) shared how he has supported families through the complex immigration system.   

immigration support


There has been a growing demand for the free Immigration adviser service and RNRMC is very pleased to be able to support additional capacity through its own and AFCTF funding.  This additional resource comes in the form of another immigration adviser who has now been recruited. 

It is a real pleasure to have joined the Naval Families Federation as a trainee immigration adviser. Being a navy wife myself, I understand the difficulties faced by serving personnel and their families. I am delighted to have joined the team to be able to support our non-UK families with their immigration journeys; from spousal and children’s visas to citizenship or visit visas for families. It’s wonderful that the NFF now have additional capacity to support RN and RM families with their immigration queries and I am thankful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the RNRMC for funding their project. 

Sophie Raza


In an interview conducted by Chris New, CEO of Aggie’s, Chloe Lefore, the Pastoral worker at Worthy Down, talked about the challenges of time zones that many Foreign and Commonwealth personnel face. Often, they have to get up in the middle of the night to phone family members at a time when they would be home and available.  She shared how she supports new RN personnel by welcoming them to the site, sharing information with them, and helping them to form friendship groups.  

Chris also interviewed Patrick Mhlongo from South Africa, one of the talented chefs who prepared the wonderful food for the event.  He shared his experience of being so far from family or friends, and how much he enjoyed the Church Café, and the other events Chloe ran because they helped him to form friendships and social networks.   

There will be subsequent events designed to support the Commonwealth community:  

  • Engagement event attracting High Commissioners and RN Engagement Teams.  

  • Commonwealth Families Day.  

To enquire about NFF’s Immigration Service, please email immigration@nff.org.uk.  

To find out more about Aggie’s pastoral support, please visit www.aggies.org.uk/pastoral-work  

To find out more about the support RNRMC provides for serving personnel, their dependents, click here.


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