News from HMS Collingwood

The Haven at HMS Collingwood is one of our busiest coffee bars, with new recruits enjoying the facilities daily and joining Kathy and Glynn every Tuesday for Bacon Butties. 

Here Kathy Smith tells us about her very busy time in the coffee bar:

On the 28th September we ran our annual MacMillan coffee morning cake sale. 

It is always a popular event in the coffee bar and this year was no exception.  I was over whelmed by the help and support I received from two of the ex Navy ladies that had spent time working in the coffee bar in their run up to leaving the Navy.

One lady now works as an instructor at HMS Collingwood and rallied her colleagues to make cakes to sell as well as baking many herself; the other lady contacted me to say she had a free day and would I like some help as well as making her legendary cheese cake. 

I feel privileged to have been able tosupported these ladies along with my other PW colleagues during a big time of change in their lives and I think their support at the charity cake sale shows that they really appreciated all that the Aggies Pastoral workers have done for them. 

So far the total raised for MacMillan is over £160 so all in all a very successful day.

Storybook Waves on Board HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth Copyright ©UK MOD CROWN COPYRIGHT, 2016                                                          

HMS Queen Elizabeth Copyright ©UK MOD CROWN COPYRIGHT, 2016                                                          

Storybook Waves visited HMS Queen Elizabeth today and delivered a Storybook Waves recording Kit on-board.

Based with the Chaplain, Reverend Alastair Mansfield the new kit will allow personnel serving away from their families to record bedtime stories for their children to listen to whilst they are separated.

Kathryn Hearn, Project Manager said 'We have already had a number of enquiries from families with loved ones on-board HMS Queen Elizabeth and I am delighted that we are now able to offer this service to families that are separated, we are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with the new carrier'.

For more information on Aggie Weston's Storybook Waves visit or contact


Families enjoy their day at CTCRM, Lympstone

Families of those serving at CTCRM Lympstone were treating to a day of fun this weekend, as the training establishment opened its doors for the annual Families Day.

Hundreds of families associated with CTCRM flocked to Lympstone to enjoy a zip wire, zorbing and many more attractions including the cake stand manned by Aggie Weston's Pastoral Workers; Zena, Vicky and Abi.

The families all had a great day and are looking forward to next year's fun already!

Storybook Waves Book Clubs secure funding

A new initiative by the Aggie Weston’s Storybook Waves project has secured funding from the Annington Trust of over £40,000 for the next three years.  Launching at the end of September 2017, the ‘Storybook Waves Book Club in a Box’ initiative seeks to relieve the anxiety of separation that families experience by connecting them through books and a nationwide network of Book Clubs. 
Held in community houses at 21 base port areas, the Book Clubs will generally be hosted by Aggie Weston’s Pastoral Workers and will run monthly during term time.  Aimed primarily at families of deployed personnel, The Book Clubs will seek to bring families together for fun-filled activity sessions based around the theme of a popular children’s book.  While children play, parents can socialise and Pastoral Workers will be on hand to provide support and a listening ear to anyone struggling with the challenges that deployment can bring. 
Project Manager, Kathryn Hearn, commented: “I am absolutely thrilled that the Annington Trust has provided such a generous grant; the funds provided will enable us to deliver this exciting new Club.  We all know that deployments and weekending brings challenges for those left at home, it impacts family life and whilst most families cope very well sometimes additional support can be very welcome. The Storybook Waves Book Club In A Box aims to provide a slot in each month where parents and children can come together, mix with families in similar situations and build bonds, all whilst the children are entertained through the power of books.”
Reverend Paul Andrew, Chaplain RN said: “I am delighted to hear about the Storybook Waves Book Club In A Box. The idea that the families of deployed ships could be brought together in this new way, is in my mind really exciting. I can already see many benefits in bringing those isolated together, providing something unique.” 
"Aggie's Storybook Waves is a simple, thoughtful and sensitive way of bringing pleasure to the families of our sailors. These Book Clubs will help to reduce isolation, bring communities together and strengthen those vital support networks Service families deserve,” says Helen Liddell, Chair of the Annington Trust.  “We hope the Book Clubs will help build community cohesion within the ‘patch’ or amongst the deployed ship families.  Annington is proud to be supporting the Clubs.”

For more information about Storybook Waves please contact Kathryn Hearn on 0300 3020 183

For more information on the Annington Trust please visit

Marriage Preparation course now on offer at HMS Nelson

The Aggie Weston's PW team at HMS Nelson have been working closely with the Chaplaincy team to organise a 'Marriage Preparation' or 'Relationship Refresher' course.

The course will take place on Saturday 6th October in the Chaplaincy, Rodney Block, HMS Nelson and will include sections such as 'Blueprint', 'Foundations' and 'Weatherproofing'.

There is a nominal charge for the day of £20 per couple.

For more information on the course, please contact

Aggie Weston's receives the Silver Award

Chair of Trustees, Commodore Bob Fancy accepts the award on behalf of Aggie Weston's

Chair of Trustees, Commodore Bob Fancy accepts the award on behalf of Aggie Weston's

Director of Operations, Theresa Pratt and CEO Craig Fulton on board HMS Victory

Director of Operations, Theresa Pratt and CEO Craig Fulton on board HMS Victory

On Wednesday 5th September Aggie Weston's CEO Craig Fulton and Director of Operations Theresa Pratt attend an award ceremony on board HMS Victory.

On behalf of the Trustees, Head Office and UK team,  Chair of Trustees, Commodore Bob Fancy accepted the MOD Employer Recognition Silver award for their work with the armed forces.

Craig and Theresa are both thrilled with the award and are looking forward to continuing with their work with sailors and their families

Aggie's and The Ark Plymouth

Tears and Tissues.JPG

Photo left to right; Julie (Volunteer & Creche Worker) Fran, Jenn & Zoe - Aggies at the Ark Team!
Sent from Outlook

The long standing close collaboration between the Ark and Aggie’s has just got even closer as the Ark staff now join the Aggie’s Pastoral Worker Team.

Jenn, Fran and Zoe of The Ark are pictured sporting their new Aggies    t-shirts outside Widewell Primary Academy on the first morning of the new school term where Fran Anderson had kindly organised a 'Tea & Tissues' event for the school's new parents.

As well as tea and cake, the team served up support for the parents and the school; helping the new children line up for their class, supporting the brand new reception teacher, chatting to parents and selling second hand school uniform.

Fran Anderson commented 'We had quite a few new parents and some well known to us come into the hall to join us and who felt much better knowing their little 4 year olds had settled into starting 'big school' for the first time!'


Silver Award For Aggie Weston's

Silver Award 2017.jpg

Aggie Weston's are pleased to announce that they have been awarded the Silver Award in the MOD Employer recognition Scheme.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

Silver award holders:

  • demonstrate support for service personnel issues and employ at least one member of the armed forces community
  • actively communicate and uphold a positive stance to their employees via established HR policies and procedures
  • show flexibility towards annual training commitments and mobilisation of reservist employees and support the employment of cadet instructors, armed forces veterans (including wounded, injured and sick) and military spouses/partners
  • collect their certificate at a regional silver awards ceremony, receive silver logos to display and are themselves displayed on the list of Employer Recognition Scheme award winners
  • must be nominated for a silver award by a third party using the online nomination form
  • are required to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and employ at least one individual from the covenant category that the nomination emphasises

On receiving the award Aggie Weston's CEO, Craig Fulton said;  

'Aggie Weston’s are absolutely delighted to have been recognised by the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme in this way. A strong desire to support the Naval Community is the most important strand of this Christian charity’s DNA. Our support may come through the delivery of our projects to serving personnel and their families, or through the employment of service spouses or veterans. Either way we are proud to call ourselves advocates for the Armed Forces community'

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."



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!"