Write-up: The Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust AGM MAY 2022

An insight from our Operations Manager, Alex Watts:

Over the years since leaving the RN, I have had many jobs, life experiences and the distractions of service family life with 3 small children.  I therefore have never identified myself as a veteran, ‘wren’ or RN. If anything, I was an army wife! However, since working with Aggie Weston’s and now with Veterans Outreach Support (VOS) I have discovered the value of my former service self.

Whilst attending the WRNS BT AGM this year was a work-related invitation, I was keen to continue this reconnection with the veteran female community.  I attended with a former colleague from my time in HQ NAVSOUTH, Naples. This appointment was over 20 years ago, yet it remains a stand out job for many professional reasons let alone the weather and the setting.

The AGM was a great opportunity to reconnect with current serving friends and former colleagues as well as meeting some older veterans.  Hearing their stories of life as serving females in the 1950s and 60s is particularly fascinating; and all told in true RN style with a twinkle in these lovely ladies’ eyes!

This year the WRNS BT celebrate their 80th anniversary.  Blessed with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal as a very active Patron, the Trust supports anyone who has served in the WRNS. This includes women such as myself and Captain Catherine Jordan, currently CO HMS COLLINGWOOD.  We both joined in September 1993 and transferred to the Royal Navy 1 November 1993.  That moment largely went unnoticed to those of us deep in term 1 basic training at the time, but the impact must have been huge for those long established as members of the WRNS rather than RN.  The Trust supports those with many levels of ‘need’ – anything from debt, to funeral expenses, household goods and larger regular grants to those in difficult circumstances.  Led by a small, very personal team of Sarah and Roger, the service they deliver to retired female veterans in need is second to none.

Thank you WRNS BT for a well organized, informative day and more importantly for all you do for the female veterans you so readily support.

Please do contact through www.wrnsbt.org.uk for more information.

(Written by A. Watts)

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