Forces Charities

Thousands of Royal Navy personnel and veterans entitled to financial help

The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust wants to be the first port of call during the cost-of-living crisis.

A military charity that has supported Royal Navy personnel, veterans and their families since 1922 is encouraging the Senior Service community to get in contact during the current cost-of-living crisis. 

The increasing price of fuel, food, gas and electricity is leaving people struggling to pay bills, so the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT) has made nearly £3m of funding available this year.

The funding can be used to help towards living expenses, house repairs, disability aids, job training and care home top-up fees.

The RNBT says that if you have served even just a day, they will support you and your family for life. 

The charity is concerned that current or former naval personnel and their families won't be aware that life-changing support is available to them at this time of financial difficulty. 

The Commanding Officer of a Royal Navy ship is welcomed home by his family (Picture: Crown Copyright).
A Royal Navy family embrace after a long deployment (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Rob Bosshardt, chief executive of The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust and a Royal Navy veteran, spoke to Hal Stewart, broadcaster for BFBS the Forces Station, about his concerns regarding the lack of awareness of the support the RNBT can offer. 

He said: "As it's our centenary, it's a great opportunity for us to raise awareness. 

"Most people don't think of charities when life's going fine and so I think when they're in a period of struggling – and we're going to come into a cost-of-living crisis, we're in it already and it's going to get worse – there's a lot of families that will have been doing fine that suddenly find that that there isn't enough money to go around.

"They need some help and they don't know where to turn to. 

"So RNBT is their natural port of call and we really want them to get in touch," he added.

The charity has budgeted for an increase in the amount of grants and regular charitable payments that it will make this year and so RNBT already has nearly £3m worth of funding available. 

Royal Navy veterans march in 2018 at Armed Forces Day in Plymouth (Picture: Crown Copyright).
Royal Navy veterans march in 2018 at Armed Forces Day in Plymouth (Picture: Crown Copyright).

What support can the RNBT offer? 

Rob says the charity wants the Royal Navy community to get in contact if they need financial support. 

"We can help with money for essential foods, problems with rent etc," he said. "It might be medical needs, mobility aids. 

"We've spent nearly £75,000 worth on medical grants this year already in the first three months. 

"It might be some assistance with respite, it might be care home top-up fees. 

"It's the full range of things, including house adaptations if there's a disability in the family, that sort of thing. 

"It is the full spread of support," he added.

HMS Ocean returning to her base port of Devonport following a period of six and a half months on operations in 2017 (Picture: Crown Copyright).
HMS Ocean returning to her base port of Devonport following a period of six and a half months on operations in 2017 (Picture: Crown Copyright).

How can people get in touch? 

When you contact the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust, you won't be put through to a civilian with no understanding of your unique situation. 

Instead, you will talk to somebody with a Royal Navy or Royal Marines background.

They will understand your career and speak your language. 

Get in touch by emailing [email protected], visit rnbt.org.uk or call the helpline on 02394 216294.

Cover image: Cans are restocked at a foodbank in Swansea, Wales (Picture: Gareth LLewelyn / Alamy Stock Photo).