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Bring on
Boxing Day
BEARD? Red suit? Sled? Rosy-cheeked smile? Reindeer? Red
FORMER Navy man Ray Savage,
hat? One out of six... Nope, Ross Kemp makes a rubbish Santa.
aged 73, has been helped by the
However he does make a damn fine supporter of the UK4U
Royal Naval Benevolent Trust.
Thanks Christmas Box campaign which seeks to make sure that
Raymond suffers from phlebitis
each member of the Armed Forces serving abroad over Christmas
in his legs which meant he
gets a gift of thanks and support.
struggled to get into and out of
The actor and presenter arrived at the campaign launch
the chair in his warden-controlled
at HMS President courtesy of a RIB (although the men in
flat due to swollen legs.
balaclavas don’t look likely elves...) where he met with men and
Following the advice of a
women from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF who were out in thea-
therapist, Raymond contacted the
tre over Christmas in 2007.
RNBT to ask for help in buying a
He said: “My time spent in Afghanistan has given me a great
riser/recliner chair.
insight into what life is like for the men and women of our Armed
Despite initial reluctance,
Ray eventually applied and the
“The well-meaning things that are sent out to these guys make
RNBT paid for his chair in full,
a massive difference.
allowing the former sailor to sit
“I know how much it will mean to them to receive these boxes,
comfortably for the first time in
and the message of support and thanks from the public that
comes with them,” he added.
Ray said: “I didn’t like asking
UK4U promised before Christmas that they will be sending
for help, but I’m so glad I did.
24,500 Christmas boxes all over the world to service personnel
“The chair has made a vast
who will be away from their families and friends on Christmas
difference to me. Because my
legs are raised, the swelling has
Find out how to donate through their website
reduced a lot and I can even fall
or write to UK4U Thanks, The Old Granary, East Street, West
asleep in my chair and know that
Chiltington, West Sussex, RH20 2JY
Picture: PO(Phot) Terry Seward
I am safe in it.”
If you would like to find out
more, contact the RNBT on 023
9266 0296.
Into the blue
ROYAL Marines bandsmen from
FOR some it holds a primal
Stonehouse presented £6,000
raised through concerts and
For some it is sanctuary.
other events in Plymouth’s Globe
For PO John Strutt it is the
Theatre to four charities: Help for
path to a better future for former
Heroes, the Plymouth Guild Fun,
Servicemen and women who have
Ford Park Cemetery Fund and
lost limbs while in the Armed
Friends and Families of Special
John, a qualified PADI
The money was raised through
instructor and member of
the hard work of Carole Dinham,
Southsea Sub Aqua Club, was
the commanding officer’s
serving in Gibraltar and noticed
personal assistant.
the effect diving had on teenagers
Carole said: “I am pleased that
– who were convinced beforehand
we can show our support for the
that they “couldn’t do that”.
local community in this small
The result was Operation
way. I would like to thank those
Equilibrium – in the water,
who continue to attend concerts
says John, everyone is equal – a
for their excellent support. In
weekend in the pool at HMS
Hospice help
Boxes for
addition, may I thank the band
Collingwood for nine members of
for their excellent performances
BLESMA, the British Limbless
from Senior
which make these events such a
Ex-Servicemen Association.
The electronics warfare
Lt Col Martin Taylor,
specialist organised a series of
THE 2008 Operation Christmas
Child shoebox appeal at HMS
commanding officer of RM
exercises from the basics – putting
Collingwood, organised by Lt
Stonehouse, said: “I hope that
on scuba diving equipment and BOTH Sultan and Collingwood
Cdr Kirsten Brooks, netted a
this money can provide real
developing a good swimming have been focusing their fundrais-
total of 50 shoe boxes all full of
benefits to the local community
stroke – to more challenging ing on a Purbrook hospice.
Christmas gifts for some of the
and I look forward to donating to
actions, such as removing a scuba A night of horse-racing organ-
world’s most deprived children
more charities next year.
mask under water (and putting it ised for students at the Engineering
in Eastern Europe and beyond.
“My thanks also go to Carole
back on). Technicians Initial Career Course
● Lt Cdr Kirsten Brooks,
who without her hard work on
“If you do something you at HMS Sultan raised £340 for
The Rev James Francis, AB
these concerts, these donations
enjoy, you come back buzzing,” the Rowans Hospice in Purbrook.
Tony Wilson and AB Perry
would not have been possible.”
says John. “Diving is something Not only was the evening for
Jarrom loading the boxes into a
anyone can do – it just needs a Pictures by Richard Hobson, Southsea Sub Aqua Club fundraising, but it gave the train-
car to go to a drop-in centre
little bit of awareness.” ees a taste of future race nights
It took considerable
“You saw over the weekend next ‘mission’ for Operation
’Tater time
while at sea.
organisation – and considerable
that they got a real sense of Equilibrium. The senior rate
People from the course visit- BRNC fight
support from John’s COs in Gib
achievement out of it,” said John. hopes to take up to a dozen
ed the hospice in Purbrook to
and Collingwood, plus the sub
“One of the lads couldn’t play amputees on a diving expedition
hand over their contribution to
at Clyde
aqua club – before the day finally
football or rugby with his kids, but to the western USA where, apart
the site’s ongoing care and sup-
back bramble
came when the amputees donned
he could go swimming or diving from a better climate, people are
port of patients with life-limiting
flippers and jumped into the
with them. more geared up to supporting
NINE Offi cer Cadets from Britan-
nia Royal Naval College visited a
A NICE cuppa is not an unusual
“For me, it was great to finally those with disabilities.
Described as ‘a halfway
special needs school in Dartington
method of fundraising in the RN.
Some had diving experience,
realise the project – and it’s given If you’re interested in becoming house to heaven’ by a member
to deal with a variety of tasks.
We’ve also known bacon butties
some did not. None had dived
me added impetus. The requests involved in John’s project, or of Sultan’s staff, the visit to the
Led by S/Lt ‘Freddie’ Huntley,
and big breakfasts. Cake bakes
since their amputations. All came and interest I have had from want to run a similar scheme, hospice proved thought-provoking
the team volunteered to do jobs
are a common sight. But baked
out of the water at the end of the people since the weekend has you can contact the senior rate at and sobering to the two trainees.
at Bidwell Brook School rang-
potatoes are a new one on us...
two days with a fresh outlook on been unbelievable.” or 01329 Whereas sailors and civilians
ing from bramble clearing to bike
But Clyde’s Naval Base
life. The ‘added impetus’ is the 245077. from the Warfare Training Group
refurbishment, pressure-hosing
chaplaincy tempted many visitors
in Collingwood raised £3,959
play equipment to safety-marking
for a baked potato lunch to raise
through a Charity Golf Day at
posts for visually-impaired stu-
money for charity.
Cam’s Hall Golf Course and vari-
The chaplaincy’s Margaret
Calendar girls, guys and
ous local collections.
Schoolteacher Dave Cheshire
Reid said: “The charity is still to
More information about the
said: “It is always a pleasure to
be decided. But base workers can
hospice at www.rowanshospice.
welcome the Royal Navy to the
be sure that the money will go to
school and to have an extra input
a great cause. of manpower is a real treat as sud-
“We’re hoping to choose a
charity to which we can donate
Psssst... Can we interest you in a calendar? Lads wearing very little, Raleigh name
denly the list of jobs to be done
gets reduced.”
the money received from now
lasses wearing even less? It’s all for charity...
until Christmas, and then
For some reason, the scantily clad and calendars have long been
a different one for between
synonomous; now add the military and charity to the mix.
a happy ship
Christmas and Easter.”
The Help for Heroes 2009 double calendar features 24 pages of,
The healthy lunches are
we quote, “service boy and girls in and out of uniform”.
Sailors from HMS Raleigh vis-
TRAINEE submariners at HMS
prepared by Babcock’s Ena Smith
Whereas Garrison Girls, fundraising for Help for Heroes and
ited Torpoint Infant and Nursery
Raleigh picked up their mops for
and Mairi Smith who have leant
Combat Stress, features military wives who have bared all for their
School for a ceremony to name
a cleaning competition, with each
their cookery expertise to the
art (tastefully of course).
the wooden ship built in the school
participant donating £1 to garner
charity drive.
The photographs in Garrison Girls were taken by renowned pho-
£82 for Seafarers UK.
tographer Mick Payton, who has a reputation across Europe for his
The ship, built by students
Mackenzie Division instructor
■ SAILORS at Clyde set out to
support fellow seamen by digging
sensuous images of nude women. with the assistance of Touchwood
CPO Nick Carter said: “As we all
deep into their pockets to raise
Army wife Sarah Bennett Thurston said: “We all worry in case one Enterprises, was formally named
know a clean ship is a happy ship.
£100 for the Royal National
day our families need help, so it’s reassuring to know Combat Stress HMS Lowen by Capt Jonathan
“Mackenzie Squadron houses
Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
and Help for Heroes are there. Besides, it’s important that we aren’t Woodcock.
trainees in two blocks; as there is
The HMS Neptune
just the recipients of the help, I’m glad that we’ve been able to put Raleigh donated £115 to start
some friendly rivalry between the
Administration Building’s
something back.”
off the fundraising at the start of two areas, it was decided to use
barbecue and charity raffl e
Each photo has a military theme, including a Naval image,
this year. the mop, bucket and cloths to not
raised more than £100 for the
although no Naval wife decided to take part.
And Lowen is the Cornish word only clean the areas but also to
Buy online at or
for happy. raise money for a worthy cause.”
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