Maritime charity celebrates AGM
HRH Princess Anne joins The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society in celebrating another year’s achievements of the maritime charity at its 153rd Annual General Meeting
The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society was honoured by the presence of royalty at maritime institution Trinity House in London as HRH Princess Anne joined Trustees, staff, residents, tenants, volunteers and other distinguished guests in celebrating its 153rd AGM on 16 May.
The Surrey-based care home operator and charity has provided housing, residential and nursing care to former seafarers, their widows and dependants since 1865 and is incorporated under Royal Charter with HRH The Princess Royal as its patron.
The AGM provided an opportunity for the Society to reflect on a successful year in which it sustained an average occupancy rate of 94 per cent and reached record high staff training levels of 100 per cent enabling the best standard of care to be delivered to residents. The Royal Alfred also celebrated Housekeeping Manager, Shirley Campbell, and Chairman, Captain Duncan Glass, winning prestigious Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards in the Leadership and Beyond Governance categories.
In addition to this, the Society has invested in landscaping its five-acre north field site to create two large interlinked ponds to help connect residents to their seafaring past. This coupled with the home’s dementia annexe and memory lounge containing maritime memorabilia helps to alleviate symptoms of the disease and can boost morale.
The annual event was commemorated by guest speaker Commodore Ian Gibb MBE who enjoyed a long career at sea as captain of many P&O cruise liners including SS Canberra and MV Oriana. Now a life member of The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, Commodore Gibb is also an Elder Brother at Trinity House and dedicated his speech to outgoing Chairman Captain Duncan Glass who retired following 16 years as a Trustee of the Society.
Commenting on the AGM, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, CEO at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, said: “We always enjoy coming together to celebrate another year of successfully achieving our charitable aim of accommodating and caring for every qualifying seafarer in need, and to have our Patron HRH The Princess Royal in attendance this year made it an extra special occasion.
“In particular, we’re proud to have invested in our facilities over the last year as well as in our staff by continuing our Maritime Acquaint training programme, which provides first-hand experiences of seafarers’ lives and the challenges they faced, helping to tailor care to residents at our Belvedere House care home.
“We owe our gratitude to Commodore Ian Gibb for making this possible and thank him for speaking at our AGM. I would also like to thank HRH The Princess Royal for her patronage and attending, and our outgoing Chairman Captain Duncan Glass for his contributions to the Society over the last decade.”