One in four members of the armed forces community feel lonely 'always' or 'often.' The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has meant that even more people have suffered from feelings of loneliness and isolation - and sadly, those who are already isolated may become more vulnerable than ever.
Recently, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) worked in partnership with The Royal Marines Charity (RMA-TRMC), the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT) and Royal British Legion (RBL) to provide emergency support to a Royal Marine veteran stranded alone in Thailand with COVID-19 symptoms.
Colin travelled to Thailand in February and was due to fly back to the UK in April. Unfortunately, his plan changed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus across the globe. Colin’s flight home was cancelled and, due to a lockdown in both the UK and Thailand, he ended up completely stranded in Thailand with very little funds - leaving him with no money to pay for essentials, such as accommodation and food. He also had significant dental problems which has extended the delay in getting him home.
Colin contacted the RNRMC for help and through coordination with RMA-TRMC, RNBT and RBL, Colin received financial support and advice to assist him whilst he is overseas.
Colin said: “The RNRMC, RMA-TRMC, RNBT and RBL have been amazing in supporting me during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I was incredibly stressed and worried about what I would do. I decided to reach out to the charity in the hope they might be able to help. Within a couple of days, I got a grant that allowed me to rent a room, buy food and other essentials. The grant also allowed for me to get emergency dental treatment. Their help and response have been truly amazing.”
As well as providing financial support, Colin, who is still stuck in Thailand, has been receiving regular reassurance and contact.
“They basically saved me from a very dire situation and their support is still continuing while I am stranded here.
“I was also very grateful for their understanding and sincere concern for my wellbeing. They gave me a huge morale boost when I really needed it and they really put my mind at ease.
“Their fast response and support have been nothing short of astounding. I could not be more thankful for their help. I would have been totally lost without the help they have provided for me.”
Colin* – Royal Marine veteran