A message from the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

The Chief Executive of the RNBT, Rob Bosshardt, has shared the following message updating supporters and beneficiaries on their services:

‘May you live in interesting times’ said Confucius. We are certainly doing so at the moment.

I thought you would like to know how we are managing at RNBT, and perhaps to put the word out that we are very much ‘open for business’.

That said, as I am sure you would have realised, we closed down Castaway House on Monday evening, just before the Prime Minister told us that we should all work from home. This was a difficult task, but we have a very good IT system which allows direct access to our work areas as well as our emails, so we were well prepared for this eventuality.

Last week our focus was on two important areas.

Firstly, our care home, Pembroke House. It is absolutely critical that we do our very best to keep the virus out of the Home, as its effects would be devastating for our vulnerable residents. We therefore took the difficult decision to close to new admissions, and later in the week we closed to all visitors. Families have been very understanding, and know we only did this with the welfare of their loved ones in our minds. We will try and use social media to let them know what’s going on in the Home. The staff have been brilliant; flexible and going the extra mile in volunteering for extra shifts to cover absences. We will be paying any staff member who self-isolates at full rate so that they are not disadvantaged by doing the right thing.

Secondly, crisis and urgent support for our beneficiaries. As you would expect, the caseworkers of SSAFA and The Royal British Legion cannot do home visits under the current restrictions, and so the Grant Team developed a protocol for both receiving (via phone and email) and responding to urgent and crisis requests for support. This protocol has just taken the first application. Please do let anyone you know who may need this service how to access it: details of this come up as soon as you open the website, which then leads to further information at: http://www.rnbt.org.uk/how-we-help/wide-ranging-financial-help/how-to-apply/

More complex cases may take a little longer to process, but we will do our best to keep the wheels of benevolence turning. We are regular contact with both the whole naval charity sector and also our colleagues in the military benevolence sector, including of course our wonderful caseworking charities. We are getting used to holding virtual meetings.

Can I close by wishing you and your families all the very best during this challenging crisis, and to thank you for your support and understanding. Stay safe and do keep in touch.

Our Executive Members

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