HMNB Portsmouth Families Day

Aggies Pastoral Workers, Emma Barfoot, Tracey Harvey and Alex Watts were at the HMNB Portsmouth Families Day on Saturday.

With expected visitor numbers to exceed 6,000 Aggies staff were on hand with a calm and cooling baby and breastfeeding area; a paradise of tranquillity for families who had queued for sometime to get into the very popular event.

The HMNB Portsmouth and HMS Nelson team will be back next year.

Pastoral Workers Make donation.

Glynn Hughes and Kathy Smith

Glynn Hughes and Kathy Smith

Aggies Pastoral Workers Glynn Hughes and Kathy Smith made a donation of £210 towards helping extend the memorial garden at HMS Collingwood.

The £210 was raised at the ever popular Aggies Bacon Butty morning, which is held in the Collilngwood Chaplaincy every Tuesday morning.

Mark Joins the PW Team at HMS Raleigh


The team at HMS Raleigh has been bolstered by the arrival of a new Pastoral Worker, Mark Kerridge.

A former Headteacher and member of the congregation at St Margaret Mary’s PC Church, Plymstock, Mark is excited to have joined the Aggie’s team and is looking forward to working with the trainees at Raleigh.

Mark says:
I was born in Portsmouth and I have been a life-long Pompey supporter for as long as I can remember.  Following your ‘local’ team can be quite a challenge and there have been many highs and lows over the last forty years.

I left school after ‘A’ Levels and worked in a bank for a year before working at GEC Marconi for four years.   Thinking back to this time, I realise now that I was never going to be happy working in industry.  But, my life changed dramatically following what I thought was going to be a quick ‘chat’ with our Parish Priest who had just returned from missionary work in Cameroon.  This conversation ultimately led me to commence training to be a Catholic Priest.  I spent two years in a seminary and these were transforming years because although I did not become a priest, it did open up a pathway to following a different vocation, that of teaching.  I went to University at the tender age of 25 (and was the third oldest student at the College when I started!!).  I met my wife at University and we have four ‘grown up’ children. 

I have been lucky to have worked for almost thirty years in a role that is, for me at least, vocational.  As a teacher, and later as a Headmaster, I have worked in London, Milton Keynes, Corby, Hinckley, and Lincoln before moving to Plymouth.  I took early retirement in 2017 and have had several zero-hour jobs since.  However, when I saw the post of Pastoral Worker advertised in our local church, I was immediately ‘won’ over by the emphasis on vocation.

New Pastoral Worker at HMS Nelson

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Paul Jackson, Aggie’s Pastoral Worker HMS Nelson

Paul Jackson has recently joined the Pastoral Worker team based at HMS Nelson.  Paul spent 36 years in the Royal Navy, most recently heading up the Portsmouth Divisional Support Group.  He has seen at first hand the impact that Aggies has in the naval community and is now looking forward to making his own contribution to that work.

Paul joins us with wealth of experience of the Royal Navy.

Paul, who had been a Sea Cadet at the Gloucester unit, joined the Royal Navy in 1983. On completion of his initial training at HMS Raleigh, he trained at HMS Collingwood in Fareham as a Weapons Engineering Mechanic, Ordnance. His first assignment was the Fleet Maintenance Base, HMS Defiance in Devonport, before joining the frigate HMS Broadsword. 

Following Leading Hands course in 1985 he served on frigate HMS Beaver and in 1989 he was promoted to Petty Officer. After spells at the Portland Naval Base maintenance facility and HMS Cambridge, Gunnery School in Devon, he joined frigate HMS Cumberland as Sea Wolf Launcher System Engineer in 1990.

From 1992 he worked at HMS Centurion in Gosport as a Career Manager and from 1994 he served in Hong Kong as the Weapon Engineering Officer of the patrol boat HMS Plover.  He was promoted to Chief in 1995 and returned to the UK to join the type 42 destroyer HMS York as Department Coordinator (DEPCO).  His next position was as Officer Of the Day on the Fleet Flag ship HMS Victory in 1998.  Following this he joined HMS Glasgow in 2000 as DEPCO and during this period he spent time in London as a fire fighter during the firemen’s strike.  Subsequently he joined the Water Front Office in Portsmouth as the type 42 desk manager. He joined Flag Officer Sea Training as a “wrecker” in 2004 . In 2006 he returned to Career Management at Fleet HQ on Whale Island, before joining BRNC Dartmouth as a Sea Training Instructor for young Officers in 2009, sending time on-board HMS Ocean and Illustrious.  Then at short notice he was reassigned to HMS Ark Royal as DEPCO and on its sudden demise, returned to Fleet HQ again as Career Manager in 2011.

On promotion to Warrant Officer First Class, he joined the staff of HQ Defence College of Technical Training based at HMS Sultan in 2013, as HQ WO.  In 2015 he was appointed Officer Commanding Naval Engineering Falkland Island(NEFI) and acted as Senior Naval Warrant Officer Falklands. From 2016 he took up his position as COMPORFLOT Executive Warrant Officer and then his final position was leading the Divisional Support Group in Portsmouth. 

With a passion for Great War history and the Royal Naval Division, Paul spends time each year walking historic battle fields. He is also an advanced RYA power and Safety boat Coxn, as well as holding RYA sailing qualifications.  He has been a Committee Member of the Gosport Sea Cadets.  Paul is married and lives in Hampshire with his wife Stephanie.


Aggies Pastoral Worker Becky Baird with the Chaplaincy team at HMS Sultan

Aggies Pastoral Worker Becky Baird with the Chaplaincy team at HMS Sultan

Personnel from across HMS Sultan came together recently for a sweet treat in support of The Leprosy Mission ‘Heal Nepal’.


A cake sale crammed full of delicious confectionary was held within the Establishment’s Chaplaincy during the Stand easy break between classes at the Royal Navy’s home of Marine and Air Engineering training.


The event was organised by Matthew Hibberd, the Establishment’s Public Relations Manager, with support on the day from Aggies Pastoral Workers.


Interserve Support Services employee, Matthew, heard about the work of The Leprosy Mission through a guest speaker at his church. He said: “I was really shocked by how leprosy continues to effect lives around the World today. There’s a lot of stigma around leprosy and it can quickly deprive sufferers of not only the ability to work and provide for their families, but it can also make them a social outcast.”


“Hearing about ‘Heal Nepal’ was really challenging as, although the country is well over 4,000 miles away, we have a fantastic group of Gurkhas serving within HMS Sultan who may have come from communities affected.”


“It’s actually relatively inexpensive to cure someone of leprosy and the fact that the government’s UK Aid Direct scheme will see the money raised doubled will enable even more people to be helped.”


With the Chaplaincy adding to the fundraiser from the Church of England fund and the Chaplaincy fund, the total raised was £734.73, with UK Aid taking it to a whopping £1469.46 for the Charity.

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Storybook Waves to work with The Royal Navy & Royal Marine's Children's Fund

Zoe and the Time Rabbit by Sarah McMenemy

Zoe and the Time Rabbit by Sarah McMenemy

Aggie Weston’s have teamed up with The Royal Navy & Royal Marine’s Children’s Fund to send copies of “Zoe and the Time Rabbit” out to families participating in the Storybook Waves Project.

Storybook Waves is a FREE service that enables serving personnel to record bedtime stories for their children to listen to whilst they are separated. Every family benefiting from the project receives a special pack containing: the story their serving parent has recorded, a picture book to accompany the recording, an Aggies’ Mini Medal, Book Mark, Reading Force scrap and NOW a copy of Zoe and The Time Rabbit as well as an audio copy of the book for children to listen to at bedtime.

Storybook Waves Project Manager, Kathryn Hearn Said:

Storybook Waves is thrilled to be adding ‘Zoe and the Time Rabbit’ to the special pack our families receive. The book is beautifully written and illustrated and is an invaluable tool; helping children to understand the emotions they may have whilst their parent is serving away from home for long periods of time. We are looking forward to sending the book out to many families.

Clare Scherer, Director of The Children’s Fund says:

The Children’s Fund are delighted to be working with Storybook Waves which is a fantastic resource for our children and such a brilliant way for children and parents to share the joy of reading even whilst separated geographically.  We hope that Zoe and the Time Rabbit will reach many of our children and help them understand the feelings they experience when one of their parents is away for long periods of time.  We hope you all enjoy the story as much as we do.

To participate in the Storybook Waves project, serving parents should contact their local Aggie Weston’s Pastoral Worker through the Naval Chaplaincy Service. The project is completely FREE and available to all serving parents

The Royal Navy & Royal Marine’s Children’s Fund is the only charity dedicated to supporting children in times of crisis whose parents serve, or have served in the Naval Service. For more information on the support available please call The Children’s Fund head office on 023 9263 9536.

Annington Trust provide funding for a second year

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Aggies is very pleased to announce that the Storybook Waves ‘Book Club in a box’ initiative has received its second year of funding from the Annington Trust.

A grant of £14,815 has been paid to continue the work of the ‘Book Club in a box’ that is available at RNRM Welfare community centres and houses around the UK, as well as to ships and units upon deployment.

On receiving the funding Project Manager, Kathryn Hearn said “it is wonderful to have received such a generous grant. The grant will allow us to continue the work that the Storybook Waves ‘Book Club in a box’ has started; helping us to connect families and communities through books whilst bringing new naval families into the community centres and houses. I am excited to continue the project and look forward to working with Aggies Pastoral Workers to deliver the project’.

For more information on Storybook Waves ‘Book Club in a box’ project. Please contact Kathryn Hearn, Project Manager on 023 9265 050.

RM Poole sizzlse up a storm for Aggies

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Aggie’s Pastoral Worker Nicola and the team at RM Poole sizzled up a storm last week in aid of Aggie Weston’s.

Serving bacon butties to hungry personnel the team made a donation to Aggie’s to commemorate the life and legacy of Dame Agnes Weston as the charity commemorates 100 years since the death of the founder.

The bacon butty morning was a first for Nicola and proved such a success they are starting to plan more!

Thank you Nicola and team for your kind donation.