I wanted to use this weekly blog to introduce myself as the new Chief Executive Officer of the White Ensign Association. After completing 35 years of service in the Royal Navy – and where on earth did that time go?! – I am thrilled, honoured and privileged to continue serving under the White Ensign in this new role, as part of the wider naval family.
So, what are my first impressions? Firstly, I am very fortunate to have an incredibly dedicated, enthusiastic and highly professional team working with me. Secondly, it has become immediately obvious to me that there is a continuing, consistent and compelling need among the serving and veteran community for the valuable service that the White Ensign Association provides. Whether out on the road with our other Regional Managers, dealing with beneficiaries in my own right or seeing our Director of Employment at work, it has become abundantly clear to me that the White Ensign Association has its own unique selling point: it provides a holistic, tailored and personal 1-2-1 service for both those who are serving and those who have served and nowhere is that more apparent than for those in transition from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. We provide bespoke employment services, including assistance on CV writing and interview preparation and access to a network of mentors and a jobs board with opportunities posted by over 65 company members. This is alongside the guidance we provide on entitlements under the various Armed Forces Pension Schemes. We can also signpost beneficiaries to our experienced and ever helpful Panel of Professional Advisers who advise on mortgages, wealth management, tax, legal matters and much more besides. And we have a regular drumbeat of visits to Royal Navy and Royal Marine units across the length and breadth of the UK.
I should add that mine is not the only recent new face. Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope (pictured left) has just taken over from Lord Carlile as the Chair of our Council of Management (board of trustees) and Adam Marchant-Wincott (pictured right) has joined us from another military charity, Mission Motorsport, to replace Dom Hill as our Director of Employment and Finance.
In partnership with and thanks to the generous funding of a new post by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, we have also just employed a Compensation Advocacy and Support Officer, Mrs Leigh Rhodes. She is currently undergoing training, kindly provided by colleagues in the Royal Marines Charity, and should be open for business in the autumn. More to follow on this exciting new development in future blogs. But, for now, I just want to reiterate how delighted I am to be at the helm of the White Ensign Association.