Keeping military families connected

The Royal Naval Association (RNA) has kindly donated Apple iPads to the Navy veterans and partners who live at The Royal Star & Garter Homes. The donation was funded by the Aged Veterans Fund and named Project Semaphore: an initiative set up by the RNA to improve communications for aged Naval veterans.

The custom built 16GB iPad Airs were presented in bespoke RNA-branded protective cases and came pre-loaded with relevant apps. Sarah Clewes, Deputy Project Manager for Project Semaphore, visited the Homes to meet the veterans and give them their computer tablets.

Residents were thrilled to receive their iPads, with many citing how they were looking forward to using it to keep in touch with family. One such resident is Glynne, who commented, “I am absolutely over the moon, I can’t believe it’s for me.”

Others were excited about demonstrating their newly acquired skills to their families. Veteran Joan couldn’t wait to get to grips with her iPad. She quipped, “I am absolutely thrilled to bits, I really appreciate it. You know the saying, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’? Well I’m going to give it a damn good go!”

As part of the scheme, the RNA provide training for volunteers and fellow  Shipmates to offer one-to-one help and support to enable veterans to make the most of the technology available to them. Staff and volunteers from both Homes have completed the course and will work closely with residents to ensure they have a positive user experience.

Sarah Clewes described the benefits of Project Semaphore perfectly by remarking, “To know that by providing the right content and support network we are helping contribute to a resident’s personal development and helping to keep families and loved ones connected. That’s what I love about the project.”


  • Sarah Clewes showing Elenora how to make the most of her iPad Air
  • Resident Derek with his custom built iPad Air, courtesy of the RNA
  • Joan learning about her new iPad with Project Semaphore’s Sarah Clewes


For further information please contact: Diane Fisher, Press Officer, e:, t: 0208 481 7669

Cally Madden, Marketing & Communications Manager, e:, t: 020 8481 7692

Michelle Danks, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, e:, t: 020 8481 7691

About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for veterans and their spouses who live with a disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured young men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today we provide specialist care to the whole military family in our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes. Disabled ex-Servicemen and women, and their spouses, can all benefit from our pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care.

We are in the process of building new Homes around the country to provide specialist nursing care for disabled ex-Service people in the best modern surroundings, including dementia care facilities to address this growing need. The Charity has award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands, and Surbiton, Surrey, which also enables the Charity to offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. Following the successes of the first two Homes, a third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is being built, with a planned opening in 2018.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.

The Charity celebrated its centenary in 2016: providing specialist care for disabled veterans since 1916.

Twitter: @starandgarter

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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