Members of the St Neots & District Branch of the Royal Naval Association met in the RAFA club with representatives from three local good causes and the RNRMC representative a former Royal Marine commando. During 2015, members attended public events in order to promote the RNA and make collections for local good causes sponsored by our members.
This year these are – from left to right in the picture
- The Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) represented by Shipmate Harry Bellars RM who served with 45 Commando during WWII. Sponsored by RNA Shipmate Keith Ridley. The RNRM Charity exists to improve the quality of life for serving and veteran Naval Service personnel (which includes Royal Marines and other branches of the service) and their families through grants in five areas which are: Benevolence – to frontline Naval Personnel and their families with comfort, in times of hardship and distress, Amenities – grants to the welfare funds of all frontline units, Dependants – immediate financial support in the sad event of death-in-service, Sport – making grants to the Navy’s 39 sporting associations and Awards & Prizes – for recognition of ‘top of their game’ recruits in training establishments.
- St Neots TimeBank represented by co-ordinator Georgina Corley. Sponsored by RNA Shipmate Tony Webley. TimeBank was set up 4 years ago with the aim of helping anyone who needed help, be it a manual job, a lift to the Doctors/Hospital or just a chat if someone is lonely. The idea being based on ‘an exchange of skills for time’. No money is exchanged so for example if someone gives an hour of their time to help solve a computer problem for you, then an offer of doing an hour’s gardening can be exchanged. On other occasions giving up an hour to sit and chat with someone who is lonely may be needed. If that person cannot return the hour it is not a problem. Georgina explained that the RNA donation enables TimeBank to promote itself more effectively by replacing its wind-torn pop up display banner as well as the stationery used in the office. Being a voluntary group we do not have any funding other than donations we receive and funds raised at coffee mornings.
- The Eatons Community Association represent-ed by Susan Jarrett and Sponsored by RNA Shipmate John Gibbs. Started in 1979 with the aim of preserving the identity of Eaton Socon. Since then it has expanded to include Eaton Ford. The Association promotes the identity of the Eatons, records its history, holds events during the year such as May Day, Eatons’ Open Gardens and Neat Street award. A large history archive for Eaton Socon parish has been built up over the years; heritage boards, blue plaques and trails have all been added over the years. Support for local groups and environmental improvements is achieved by fundraising. Working with all ages in the community is a priority. Funds raised are used to brighten up the Eatons planting roadside daffodils, encouraging a brighter cleaner environment by actively tidying up and planting. The donation sponsored by the RNA will be used for a well needed bench at the top of Mill Hill Rd, ideal for residents to rest after climbing the long hill.
- The Upside Down Swimming Club re-presented by Gillian Smith supported by Jude receiving the cheque donation who in turn is supported by teenager volunteer Lucy both of whom joined over two years ago. Sponsored by Tom Mumford (Former President RNA St Neots & District) with RNA Shipmate Maureen Ridley. The Upside Down Swimming Club is a self-funding Club for children with special needs and disabilities run by qualified swimming teachers and volunteers such as Lucy. It runs in term time on Tuesday afternoons at One Leisure, St Neots. There are two separate sessions: 3.45pm to 4.20pm and 4.20pm to 4.55pm. The children are helped to develop confidence in the water and to interact with other swimmers in a friendly and supportive environment. There may also be opportunities for attaining swimming awards. Gillian from UDSC explained the cheque for £400 was a wonderful surprise and the money will be used towards developing their new website now under construction.
Public Relations Officer
St Neots & District Branch,
Royal Naval Association. April 2016