Pop up Chaplaincy at RNAS Yeovilton

The Yeovilton Chaplaincy likes to look after their flock at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton popping up here, there and everywhere to check on the wellbeing of their ‘crewmates’.


The Chaplaincy Team at RNAS Yeovilton is a vital part of our Naval Unit giving support to those who need it in an environment that can differ quite considerably to that of a civilian life, one of the reasons for the ‘Pop-Up’ Chaplaincy idea alongside pastoral workers from Aggie Weston’s.


Eddie Wills is the Chaplaincy Team Leader at Yeovilton and explained;


“The idea of ‘Pop-up Chaplaincy’ is to export a bit of morale to parts of the Air Station that don’t otherwise have the chance to visit us for a stand easy at the Haven. Our Aggie’s Pastoral Workers Alan and Hilary like to get out and about and are really good at creating a relaxed atmosphere wherever we pitch up.”


Aggie Weston’s is a charity that provides Pastoral Workers to help support those serving in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and their families. They work as part of the Chaplaincy Teams to encourage and support those both inside and outside the wire by providing space to chat and relax.


The Chaplaincy’s Teams most recent visit was to the Air Traffic Control Tower to deliver fresh coffee and donuts to the Air Traffic staff. This was greatly  appreciated as an opportunity to step away for a brief time from the day to day high pressure that comes with managing the day to day Air movements in the tower of one of the busiest military Air Stations in Europe

Generous grant from The Royal Marines Charity

Aggies' are delighted to announce that that one of our regular partners - the Royal Marines Charity – has committed to providing an uplift to the support that they already give us in CTCRM Lympstone.

They will fund 30 hours of pastoral support per week for the next 3 years. This is great news, not merely because it allows us to expand the work that we do at Lympstone, but also because it demonstrates that the value of the work which we already do has been noticed and is appreciated.

Craig Fulton, CEO of Aggies' said,

“We are honoured to count TRMC as a partner in the valuable work to support the personnel at CTCRM. This grant will allow us to extend the pastoral support that we offer both in the Base and beyond the wire to the families who live in and around the area. Many RMs settle their families in the vicinity even though they don’t actually serve at Lympstone, and this extension to our work will help us to do more for the families.”  

We thank the Trustees of TRMC for their continued and increased support.   


Dame Agnes Westerner named as a 'Great Westener'

Dame Agnes Weston has been named by Historian Todd Gray as a potential contender for the title of 'Great Westerner'. 

The Plymouth Herald has teamed up with the train company GWR to find the top 100 Great Westerners,  "living or long gone, born in the region or residents". The top 50 of these will have one of the new GWR locomotives named after them.

Quoted in an article for the Plymouth Herald Todd says:

"Dame Aggie Weston is another extraordinary woman. She was based in Devonport and in the late 1800s established her Royal Sailors’ Rests in Devonport and Portsmouth. Weston was a great philanthropist and her work continues today."


Read more at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/the-list-of-great-westerners-is-growing/story-30418877-detail/story.html#gO4DuMDaQQGom0xP.99

The Ark Families Open Day

The Ark community project have been very busy this week as they, along with the RNRM Welfare team held a fun day at their community house on the Widewell Estate.

Here, project leader Jenn tells us all about the day:

"We had a fun day yesterday and were joined by the Gruffalo from the storybook waves team!

There was a sewing demo from Sue and Sam two parents who attend our project where they have been learning to sew, Sue is in the RAF and Sam is a military wife. We saw 60 people of all ages come throughout the day and Cdr. Filtness came to talk about the potential impact on families with the future move of the T class submarines to Faslane.
The welfare team wanted to facilitate a community consultation as to what people wanted to see them provide at the Community House on top of the Ark's current timetable. We had an ideas tree so people could write on post it leafs ideas for groups and activities. The children enjoyed playing in the garden and colouring and having their picture taken with the Gruffalo.

All washed down with cups of tea and oodles of cake!

A tiring but rewarding day!"



Storybook Waves

Henry Sibson

Henry Sibson

Last week Storybook Waves launched the second edition of the Aggies' Storybook Waves Hero medal.  

The second edition medal features a red ribbon and will be sent to children facing their second separation from a serving parent.

The Aggies' Storybook Waves Hero medal is sent out to each child participating in Storybook Waves along with the special story recorded by their serving parent, a Reading Force scrapbook, a Storybook Waves bookmark and a copy of the book being read.

The service is completely FREE and is available at shore side establishments across the UK, Bahrain and Oman as well as on-board many ships across the fleet.

The medals have been made possible by a generous grant from the Annington Trust.

For more information on Storybook Waves please contact Project Manager Kathryn Hearn on   0300 30 20 183

Aggies Storybook Waves Hero Medal - 2nd Edition

The second edition of the Aggies' Storybook Waves Hero medal is here!

Storybook Waves Project Manager Kathryn Hearn is pleased to announce the launch of the second editionAggies' Storybook Waves Hero Medal.

If your child received the first blue medal and a serving parent deploys again, they will receive the second edition medal with their next storybook recording.

At the time of the launch Kathryn said "I am very pleased and excited to be able to launch the second ribbon colour and I am looking forward to sending the new medals out to children who are facing their second deployment.  It is wonderful to be able to recognise the sacrifice that children make when a parent deploys.  I am looking forward to seeing photos of our service beneficiaries with their line of medals!  Who knows, some of them may get more than the serving parent!"

If you would like your child to receive an Aggies' Hero Medal pop along to your chaplaincy and record a Storybook Waves book with an Aggies Pastoral Worker.

New Pastoral Worker at HMS Sultan

Rebecca Baird

Rebecca Baird

Aggies' Director of Operations Theresa Pratt is delighted to announce the appointment of Rebecca Baird to the position of Pastoral Worker at HMS Sultan.

Rebecca joined Aggie's in 2012, at Champions as a Youth and Families' worker.  Rebecca has thoroughly enjoyed her first two weeks at HMS Sultan getting to know the Chaplaincy team, officers and new recruits in the Haven.  


When asked about her new role Rebecca said " I am thrilled with my new role as PW at HMS Sultan I am thoroughly enjoying it and I am looking forward to the challenges the new role brings".

To hear more about the work of Aggie's Pastoral workers visit the 'How We Help' section of the website.

The Ark - Plymouth

The Ark in Plymouth is one of the practical ways in which Aggies supports the families of those serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. 

The Ark is based at the Widewell estate in Plymouth and provides a number of project sessions each week.

The first adult learning session for sewing took place last week with 5 mums enjoying the new session and 4 children having fun in the crèche.  The sewing class takes place every Tuesday from 1300-1500hrs and whilst this session is currently full, you can pop along to the centre at Widewell every Wednesday from 0900-1500hrs for ageneral craft workshop.

Jenn and the team even offer a crèche, available by booking, to all centre users.

For more information or to book a place at the crèche please contact Jenn and the team through their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheArkCommunityProject/

The Fair in the Square - Helensburgh

On Saturday 10th June, the annual 'Fair in the Square' took place in Churchill Square, Helensburgh.

Aggies' Pastoral Worker Jan Mckerrow was at the fair with the Gruffalo, here's what Jan thought of the day:

"The day started wet and warm, but thankfully the rain eased and by lunchtime had cleared. Cosy Coffeehouse was kept busy with sit in as well as takeaway hot and cold drinks, and the lovely selection of cakes went down a treat.

The star of the day was young AB Jack Pickering, an admirer of the Gruffalo, who raised £30 from donations getting photographed with children and young families. A good time was has by all.

Many thanks to Nicola Trollope and Peter Brennan for all their help on the day."

Aggies would like to thank AB Pickering and everyone who donated to Aggies Storybook Waves during the day.

HMS Collingwood Field Gun


HMS Collingwood in Fareham opened its gates on Saturday for its annual Open Day. There were numerous events and stalls to entertain the public. However the highlight of the day was the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) Field Gun Competition. Teams from across the UK, from abroad and from HM Ships competed for the coveted Brickwood's Field Gun Trophy.

The competition is fast and furious and requires 18-man teams to run, dismantle, reassembled and fire the gun in the shortest possible time. Strength, stamina and team work are essential in this challenge.


This year’s competition winner was the team from REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). No doubt the Royal Navy will be very keen to snatch the title back from the Army next year.

The Aggie’s team based in HMS Collingwood was exceptionally busy throughout the day, looking after our Sailors and chatting with the public. The Gruffalo was a very popular visitor to the Aggie’s stand and, whilst younger visitors were able to have their photo taken with the Gruffalo, their parents were able to talk with our Pastoral Workers about some of the projects run by the charity, including Story Book Waves.   

Aggies' Pastoral Worker on Charity speed march with Royal Marines

Aggies Pastoral Worker, Christian Hill (far right) with Royal Marines

Aggies Pastoral Worker, Christian Hill (far right) with Royal Marines

Aggies' Pastoral Worker, Christian Hill has undertaken the South Devon 'yomp' with 1 Assault Group and 30 Commando.  Based in Plymouth the marines aim to complete 1,664 miles in 100 days to raise money for their 1664 charity.   1664 miles in 100 days works out at just under 17 miles every day. Christian joined the team on 8 miles of their 'yomp' on their eighteenth day.

Having completed the 8 miles set by two Royal Marine 'runners' Christian said "it was a great opportunity to 'hang out' with the lads and completing the 8 miles was tough going but  a real achievement as I think I might be a bit older than them and I am certainly not a runner"

For more information on this story http://bit.ly/2qHHu3X


Events keep families connected

Last week the Aggie's Pastoral Workers (Lesley Balaj and Seonid Cunningham) at RM Condor held a Family BBQ in the Haven. Here's what Lesley had to say about this aspect of pastoral work.

"At the BBQ, the kids enjoyed playing together, the adults enjoyed chatting and everybody enjoyed the food. These events really help me, as an Aggies Pastoral Worker, to develop relationships so that at difficult times people will know that when they need a friendly face and a listening ear they can find one in me. The families often arrive as acquaintances but leave as friends. They develop good support networks and become a strong community. All this while having fun together"

For more details on our the Aggies Pastoral team support serving sailors and their families in your area, keep an eye on the Aggies Facebook Page.