The support network, The Ripple Pond, has seen families from a naval background thrive after funding from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

Following an RNRMC grant of £5,000 last year, The Ripple Pond has reported that the ‘self-help support network’ offered to families from the Naval Service, has had an overwhelmingly positive impact.

The Ripple Pond was originally created by the mothers of two seriously wounded servicemen who recognised that there wasn’t enough support for family members following the injury of a loved one and recognised the difficulty of coping with their long-term recovery. The organisation gives members a safe space, both physically and mentally, by offering services that include; group meetings, a unique ‘buddy system’, an online forum, accessible support and confidentiality.

Although a tri-services charity, it is with the vital contributions from RNRMC funding that The Ripple Pond provided support to 90 Naval families in need of help following the injury of a loved one. Their research found that from the 23 groups taking part, 86% of participants said that they felt better as a result of attending the group meetings. The Ripple Pond also host a secret Facebook page that gives its members an opportunity to relate and support others in a similar situation. In their members’ survey, over 90% of members stated that they used The Ripple Pond Facebook page.

One user, who wished to remain anonymous, offered the following testimony about the support from The Ripple Pond community and Combat Stress’s mental health services. The RNRMC has awarded both charities grants to help them provide core services to the entire Naval Service community.

“Exactly two years ago today, I sat and cried my eyes out as my husband left for 6 weeks to start a journey on recovery with his mental health at Combat Stress. I had never been surrounded by so many people yet felt so alone.

Thanks to every single person who was there for me too. I was scared, nervous, confused and lost without my sidekick. I didn't know where our future stood and tortured myself thinking about every single possibility but we beat the odds and he came back a whole different man. We have spent the last two years falling in love with each other again and making so many memories.

We've made new friends for life and we got through the tough times and made happy moments, even in the worst situations. I owe a lot to Combat Stress and the guys he met there. If it wasn't for them and for Brian being so strong, then who knows where we both would be today.”

The RNRMC raises vital funds for those in the Naval Service who need support after injury, bereavement or illness, whether currently serving, veterans or families. The funds raised by the charity are distributed to over 30 frontline charities, ensuring that vital support is provided to where the need is greatest.

To find out more about self-help network offered by The Ripple Pond, please visit https://www.theripplepond.org/ or call 01252 913021