Navy veterans Thriving Together – in the Welsh mountains

The Royal Naval Association (RNA) took a group of Navy veterans and serving personnel to explore Welsh mountains and waterfalls, helping them re-connect, reminisce and support each other.

The weekend was part of the RNA’s Thriving Together Programme, which gives Navy veterans and serving personnel the chance to connect with old and new shipmates, encouraging comradeship and diminishing isolation.

Mark ‘Whiskey’ Walker is a Navy veteran from Seaham, County Durham. He served from 1992 to 2020 and has been a member of the RNA for the last four years.

Mark said:

“I had a wonderful time with a cracking bunch of shipmates. I haven’t laughed so heartily for a long time. The weekend proved Once Navy, Always Navy.”

The group hiked up Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons and trekked to Neath waterfalls. The weather may not have been helpful for enabling views, but no-one cared. Everyone enjoyed being outdoors with like-minded people.

Chris Reeves, RNA Thriving Together Lead said:

“We had a wonderful weekend away. The Thriving Together Programme gives people chance to meet each other and connect. Life can be hard when you leave the military; typically, you can lose the feeling of comradeship and deep purpose which comes with serving in the Armed Forces. It can be difficult to adapt, so re-connecting with old shipmates, and making new friends who understand your background is essential to continued good mental health and wellbeing.”

The RNA’s next Thriving Together event is trekking up Mount Snowdon on the 18th May.

If you are a Navy veteran, currently serving, or a spouse and would like to join one of the RNA’s Thriving Together events email Chris Reeves: for full details.

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