Total charitable delivery
Total grant spend
Total number of individuals supported
Up from 22,342 in 2021
“Thank you...for giving me
back my life.”
Paul ‘Baz’ Barrett was recruited to
RMA – The Royal Marines Charity as a Transition Support Officer (TSO) based out of 45 Commando in Arbroath.
His appointment followed a pilot
initiative conducted during 2020/2021 that evidenced the need for the Charity to establish a permanent presence in Scotland. He is a former Royal Marine and upper leg amputee following injuries sustained during the Afghanistan conflict.
One is Too Many
In 2022, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity’s ‘Lifting the Lid’ mental
health campaign continued with funding from the Armed Forces
Covenant Fund Trust’s (AFCFT) ‘One is Too Many’ programme, in conjunction with several other funders. The most notable of these was a two-year £160,000 award from the National Lottery’s Community Fund (Big Lottery Reaching Communities England), allowing the programme to continue after the AFCFT’s own two-year funding programme ended in March 2023.
‘Lifting the Lid’ has helped to break down barriers by suggesting there is strength, not weakness, in seeking help from others; that asking for support should be applauded not stigmatised.
With the aim of encouraging healthy behaviours, mental fitness and promote earlier help-seeking behaviour, a series of short videos was created with the over-arching message: ‘What you see of someone
on the outside is not necessarily what they are feeling on the inside’.
Royal Marines Association
Over the past few years RMA – The Royal Marines Charity (RMA) has hosted
Troop Reunions at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) to
coincide with The King’s Squad Pass Out Parades.
The opportunity has proved so popular that dates can often be secured up to a year in advance, drawing RMA Members from around the globe. They stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those whom they passed out with to witness the passing out of the newest Royal Marines.
We have been able to welcome 51 Troop Reunions through the gates of CTCRM in 2022. The 611 RMA Members that took part were given tours of camp to see the changes that had happened since they
were last there, and gain insight into the ways in which training has changed since they passed out, and why.
Reunions provide face-to-face meetings with old comrades that don’t
impose the same restrictions that a phone call might. They allow people to reconnect and recall memories from their time in the Corps, whilst watching the newest faces embark on their journey.
The reunions are facilitated by the RMA at no cost to veterans and Service personnel. Not only do reunions allow former Royal Marines the opportunity to remember who they once were in the light of who they are now, but also provide a platform to talk about difficult subjects. They also highlight potential individuals that may need support from RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.
Employment & Education
Total supported into employment
awarded from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
Total Employment & Education grants
Employment & Education
Mission accomplished! Despite having to leave the Royal Marines with two fractured feet, Ryan is now on top of the world thanks to a training grant from RMA – The Royal Marines Charity.
Former RM recruit Ryan Thomas, who hails from Manchester, says: “2022 was a very crazy year indeed for me. I couldn’t have ever imagined in my wildest dreams where I would be now. I couldn’t have done it without any of you guys at the RMA Charity. Not just from a funding point of view but just from having access to the large network of support that you made available to me.”
Ryan has certainly been on a real roller-coaster ride since joining the
Royal Marines in October 2019 to turn his boyhood dream of becoming a Commando into reality.
But, sadly, it was not to be. The tough training regime at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon, resulted in severe fractures to both his feet following particularly gruelling exercises in the field. He endured two stints in Hunter Company, undergoing intensive programmes of medical rehabilitation, re-joining training twice —
but only to get injured again.
“Each time, I had to go through it all again My motivation completely
went, having already spent over a year in rehab,
Ryan remembers.” And so in January 2022 he was catapulted headlong into finding something else to do with his life. He then remembered an interview he’d had during the leaving routine with the Charity’s Employment & Education team. “They thought I’d be best suited
to the outdoor industry and helped me start the job search by enrolling me for a residential rural week with HighGround at Bicton College, along with five other RMs going through the same thing (see
page 17 ‘Tree-mendous success!’).
In the meantime, I came across a company operating out of the UAE that was looking for general duties’ instructors. I applied, had an interview the very next day, got the job — and two days later flew out to Dubai!” Ryan nevertheless returned to join the pre-arranged HighGround week to see if any of the rural careers such as tree surgery or estate management highlighted during the course would be of more interest. It made him realise that he already ‘absolutely loved the
work’ he’d been doing, so he returned to Dubai where his whirlwind transition into a new way of life was about to lead to greater things!
It was during a chance meeting with some climbing guides from India that he then learned about the qualifications available through the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. This was set up in 1954, with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa as its first director, after he and Sir Edmund Hillary had become the first to successfully summit Mount
Everest the previous year.
He was excited by the amazing opportunities this could open up.
The Charity had continued to keep in touch with Ryan to follow his
progress with transition, and so, when asked if they could offer any financial support to enable him to take the intense month-long training courseto become a mountain guide in one of the world’s harshest and toughest climbing environments, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity was there to help him pursue his dream.
“The course was absolutely amazing and covered all aspects of mountaineering, from clothing and climbing theories to everything rock-related in the Himalayas,” says Ryan.
“Just before graduating, we headed to Rathong Glacier for seven days of
ice-craft. This was the bit we had all been waiting for, trekking to base camp experiencing everything from glacier crossings and ice climbing to crevasse rescues and ice-axe self arrests.”
He has since spent his first season in Nepal as a fully qualified guide
accompanying treks to Everest Base Camp, summiting Ama Dablam and
taking tourists around some of the smaller treks in the foothills around
Kathmandu. “Me being a foreigner was a big hit especially with the locals and everyone wanted to meet the foreign guide!”
In between Everest climbing seasons, Ryan is back working in Dubai and, in going from one extreme to another, will return to Nepal later in the year with ambitious plans to take his exciting new
career to the highest possible peak!