National Council Members Page

No 4 Area
(The South West Flotilla)

National Council Member’s Report to No. 4 Area Meeting Plymouth 21/01/2023

Good afternoon shipmates and welcome to the third consecutive Area Meeting in Cornwall, just for a change the next meeting is in Bodmin in May so you might wish to hang on to your Visa’s.

The National Council meeting of the 9th December due to be held at Central Office was switched to a Zoom meeting at the last minute due to members of the office staff contracting Covid. I know that we have discussed the use of Zoom frequently but the more of them that I attend the less I like them. They tend to stifle debate and become little more than a rubber-stamping exercise in my opinion. In addition, we lose the all-important personal interaction before, during and after meetings.

The new Chief of Staff Chris Trevethan (whose late Father was a member of Liskeard Branch) has taken over from Andy Christie upon his retirement.

Recruitment of the new Comms Manager is progressing well and we expect an announcement shortly.

Membership now stands at over 16,000 – the target for the end of last year was 12,000, and it is hoped to raise this to 19,000 by the end of this year.

2022 was not a particularly good year Financially, the value of our investments took quite a dive, and we did not receive any sizeable legacy income. Donations are not rising in line with increased membership. Increasing donations is a priority this year, whereas the focus has been on recruitment for the last 2 years. RNRMC have changed their grant in lieu of subs for next year which is much better for us. They are giving us the complete £147k and any money we raise in lieu of subs will be kept and not deducted from that sum. We are therefore incentivized to raise more donations internally.

We received a grant of £40k from the RNRMC for the Wellbeing Delivery Manager who will be focused on tackling loneliness and isolation and where we hope to do better in the area of bereavement. Preliminary investigative work has taken place with the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Widows Association with a commitment to closer partnership and the production of an RNA Bereavement Handbook/toolkit this year.

Wellbeing Workshop. Significant energies have been invested in the planning, preparation, and engagement of welfare officers for the Wellbeing Workshop taking place in February. There has been an excellent response and 105 delegates are attending and have responded to a set of three questions around the trends and needs they are experiencing in welfare.

HMS RALEIGH Mentoring. DBS checks for the mentors is now an RN requirement and these are progressing. Unfortunately, Kate Hughes has had a bad experience with the mentors and has withdrawn herself from RNA activity. This means that we are not capturing the families as was hoped on POP days. The complete change of Training Staff during Lockdown has thrown the Mentoring Project into some disarray with many of our Mentors feeling that they could not continue. Things are beginning to improve and hopefully will continue to do so. I have asked for the Minibus to be returned to our custody now that Kate has severed her connections with us, and have also been informed that it requires some very expensive work on the Add Blue system.
The World Uckers Championships were a great success and there is a suggestion that it becomes an annual event rather than bi-annual.
25-28 May is the Annual Conference in Liverpool.
10th September Biennial Parade in London.


Yours Aye

S/m Warwick Belfitt
NCM No 4 Area