On Friday 23rd February 2018, I attended the funeral of an ex-serviceman, Christopher John weaver. I did not know him, but as many of us in the RNA and forces Associations have done in the past, I attended his funeral because he did not have any family able to do so.
I found out about Chris from one of our No 6 Area shipmates, she has worked tirelessly to make sure Chris had a send-off that he deserved. But, Penny should also be commended as this was not a one-off. Penny offers her support in a number of ways, so to inform our visitors of how she can help (she believes if people know more about what they are dealing with, help is available, especially from her), Penny has sent in the following message:
Hi, my name is Penny Jarvis. I am an associate member of Letchworth Branch. I am the branch Hon. Treasurer, Standard Bearer, Area Delegate, Social Secretary and help out with Welfare.
The Welfare being the most important, I am a Veteran Support Officer for the RMA. Trained by the RMA but through the auspices of the RNA. Because of this I use this position to help any ex Royals or Royal Navy veterans, and this is how I came to be helping Chris Weaver and subsequently arranging his funeral — basically because there was no one else to do it, and it’s what we do for our shipmates.
Chris is only one of the veterans I have been helping over the last few years, and sadly, had I been able to make contact with him before he got into his problems, I could probably have done so much more and he would not have ended up living rough in the first instance.
It seems to me we need to let ex personnel know that there is help here for them if they get into problems, whether they are members or not, and the sooner we can get involved the better the outcome.
My experience is to be able to utilise my input of over 50 years in being involved in the voluntary sector, especially the nearly 30 years of involvement in the RNA, 10 years of holding offices and 25 years carrying the RNA Standard. I also spent 20 years as a business woman and the last 10 years helping with the care of 5 family members all with disabilities. It is just all that basic experience and the ability to blag for information and help that makes me useful to anyone who needs my help
Why did I get involved with the RNA as an associate? Because of my Dad, the proudest of ex Royal Navy veterans, he instilled in us all this love of the Royal Navy and he is my only reason for my involvement, everything I do to help, I do for him. A good reason I hope.
So please, if you come across any veteran who needs help in our area. RNA members or not I am very happy to become involved in helping them in any way I can.
If shipmates, RNA members or not, require help, support, or just information and advice, please contact Penny (details via the RNA Central Office website). BZ Penny, keep up the good work.