The Royal Navy’s Principal Charity Recognised for Sustainability Efforts

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity’s Upcycling Innovation Shines at Sanctuary Awards

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) is delighted to announce that its pioneering upcycled bag project, in collaboration with youth charity Oarsome Chance, has been named joint-runner up for the Social Value Award at the 33rd annual Sanctuary Awards.

The Sanctuary Awards, established in 1991, honour exceptional sustainability and conservation efforts within the Ministry of Defence (MOD) community. The recognition underscores the project’s outstanding contribution to sustainable development, community engagement and environmental conservation.

Since its launch in April last year, the upcycled bag project has garnered widespread acclaim for its innovative approach to sustainability and fundraising. By repurposing decommissioned Royal Navy life rafts into stylish and functional accessories, the RNRMC have not only diverted nearly 3 metric tonnes of material away from landfills but also raised over £7000 for charity.

Bob Field, Head of Support Services and Engagement for RNRMC, expressed his gratitude for the recognition:

“When we initially thought of this project in 2021, we had a lot of hurdles to clear to get it off the ground, so being recognised for the Social Value Award feels particularly good. It took a dedicated team and a lot of ingenuity to make it happen so I’m grateful they’re also being recognised.” Field continues, “There’s a lot of good coming out of our collaboration with the Royal Navy and Oarsome Chance, I think that our project will inspire others to explore similar initiatives.”

The upcycled bag collection, featuring a range of handcrafted items from passport holders to rolltop backpacks, has been met with enthusiastic demand, with over 300 items sold to date. Each product, meticulously crafted by the talented young people at Oarsome Chance’s Canvas Works, embodies the spirit of sustainability and social responsibility.

Andrew Jameson, CEO of RNRMC says,

“We are incredibly proud to be recognised for our upcycled bag project. I am grateful for the hard work of our team and partners, Oarsome Chance and the Royal Navy, and for their courage to embrace new ventures with us. At RNRMC, our commitment to supporting sailors, marines and their families for life is at the heart of everything we do and an initiative like this is an inspiring example of how we aim to do so in a meaningful way.”

The success of the upcycled bag project extends beyond its fundraising achievements. Shortlisted for two categories in the National Recycling Awards 2023, the initiative has garnered industry recognition for its contribution to the circular economy and sustainable practices.

As the project continues to make waves, RNRMC remains committed to driving positive change and inspiring a culture of sustainability within the defence community and beyond.

For more information about the upcycled bag collection and to support the RNRMC’s charitable initiatives, visit

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