RNA Welfare Report – Advice for all Welfare Representatives

A note for all Welfare Officers and Branch officials.

Shipmate Geoff Apperley, Welfare Officer for No 6 Area, had written a report for the No 6 Area quarterly meeting. Section 1 relates to No 6 Area, but of interest to all Welfare officers throughout the RNA are sections 2 and 3. At the request of shipmate Apperley, his report is published here for your reference and future plans.



Dear Shipmates

My sincere apologies but I have unable to attend the RNA Area 6 meeting today due to family circumstances hence a written report on this occasion.


1. Report on last quarter

I would be pleased to report that all seems well and no Welfare needs in Area 6 if no request for my support is the measure of that. However the reality is that there are always welfare issues in our branches, both large and small. These must be dealt with locally by Branch Welfare Officers and other agencies. So I must pay tribute to my fellow welfare officers that these are being dealt with and not being passed onto me. However to repeat I am here to help and any branch welfare officer, branch or individual can contact me for help and advice. My full contact details are at the bottom of this report but key contacts are:

Mobile: 07969 101113   Email: geoff.apperley@googlemail.com


2. Welfare Seminar 2015 and 2016

As reported at our previous Area 6 meeting, this year’s National Welfare Seminar in Portsmouth in March was well attended, well presented and worthwhile. If you weren’t there you missed a good day with a chance to meet other Welfare officers from all over the country! Thanks have been given to Rita Lock, National Welfare Adviser for that event.

Many delegates felt during and after that the seminar was too short (Saturday day only) and that it would be helpful to hold a short weekend Seminar giving the chance to have a wash-up after the speakers and time for networking between attendees.  The good news is HQ and Rita have listened, and responded, to our suggestions.

Rita has emailed all Welfare Officers listed about a proposed 2016 Welfare Seminar. Details so far are:

When? – Saturday March 19th 2016 commencing at either 0930 or 1000 latest depending on the speakers

Where? – Crown Hotel Weymouth as best accommodation and price option (selected after consultation with Combined Organisation of Naval Associations (CONA) who are used to organising breaks and holidays for Naval veterans).

Why a hotel? – Enable the spouse/partner of Welfare Officers to have a break too even if they do not wish to attend the seminar with plenty to do for a few hours on the Saturday while the seminar is in progress. The Crown offers accommodation as above, a suitable room for the seminar, good bar prices, level shopping and entertainment on at least one or possibly both nights.

Accommodation options? – Approximately 20 singles and plenty of twin/doubles.

Meals? – Buffet lunch will be served only for those attending the seminar, cost to be advised. Other meals as below.

How much?

18th – 19th March Fri – Sun likely same as Saturday below

18th – 20th March 2016 Fri – Sun Dinner bed and breakfast £99.00

18th – 21st March 2016 Fri – Mon Dinner bed and breakfast £139.00

19th March Saturday only Dinner bed and breakfast £49.00


Rita Lock needs responses ASAP so as to be able to get CONA to book and hold rooms for us all so please get back to her as soon as possible. She can then gauge the interest and whether the idea appeals to most of you and know the number and type of rooms required. I have confirmed I will be going but invite others in Area 6 to come and enjoy a productive and good break with Shipmates. Send your response to ritalock@virginmedia.com or call 02392 642234

Both Welfare and Delegate Shipmates if this is no longer your part of the ship or you know of any other shipmates who might wish to make use of this offer please pass on the information within your branch.


3. Welfare Advice


Shipmate’s Welfare needs are often met by family, friends and shipmates both within and outside Branches. However there is a wide array of people and agencies that want to and are paid to help you. You may be aware already of the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) which is committed to enhancing the quality of life for veterans and beneficiaries of Veterans UK pensions and compensation schemes, and all their dependents. They are on the web at https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/veterans-welfare-service and have a VWS UK helpline of 0808 1914218.

What do they do? WVS provides support to enable the seamless transition from service to civilian life, assist bereaved families or respond to life events that present welfare needs. It achieves this by helping with access to all the appropriate services that you may need.

How do they help? VWS caseworkers offer professional help and guidance over the telephone. Under Veterans UK, the VWS works in partnerships with the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, ex-service charities, statutory and non-statutory bodies, local community service providers and the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees to deliver a quality welfare service that promotes independence, maintains dignity and provides continuous support through life. If you are a veteran or supporting a veteran and need further advice, the VWS may be able to help! They are there for all veterans.

How can I contact them? Use the national contacts above or your nearest Veterans Welfare Centre. VWS has 4 Veterans Welfare Centres, providing advice and support across the UK however the two closest to us in Area 6 are:

Centurion (London, SE and SW England)
Tel 02392 702232

Email: veterans-uk-vws-south@mod.uk


Kidderminster (South and Central Wales, Midlands and East England)
Tel 01562 825527


Yours aye


Geoff Apperley
Welfare Officer, No 6 Area