Royal Alfred welcomes Sea Cadets to share tales of the sea

Residents at the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society’s specialist maritime care home welcomed a group of Sea Cadets to share stories and learn about how life at sea has changed over the years.

The Society, which was established in 1865, delivers expert care to former seafarers and their dependants including those living with dementia at its home in Banstead, Surrey.

The visit from local group, the Sutton Sea Cadets, was the first in an ongoing partnership to help cadets and the Society’s former seafarers learn about the differences in their seafaring experiences.

The Sea Cadets is a national youth charity working with young people aged 10-18 and follows a similar ethos, training plan, and rank structure, to the Royal Navy, with whom many of the Society’s residents served. The organisation helps equip teenagers with all the things they need to cope with and enjoy in life as they become adults.

The visit saw the cohort of Sea Cadets visit Belvedere House for the morning, to meet residents and tenants of the Home, many of whom come from a variety of maritime backgrounds including the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Wrens.

The residents spent the morning sharing stories with the cadets about their varied experiences from their days at sea. Many of the residents wore their uniforms and medals from their time serving in The Navy and shared stories about each award.

Studies have shown that intergenerational interactions are incredibly beneficial for older people and can increase in overall satisfaction with life as well as wellbeing. The Society has a dedicated health and wellbeing team that focuses on delivering person-centred care to residents, organising events such as this visit, which help promote positive mental health.

Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Tony Peers RNR, Commanding Officer said:

“We had a wonderful day visiting The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, everyone was extremely welcoming, and the cadets got a lot out of meeting the residents. I could see that the cadets really enjoyed hearing from the residents as they each shared their own unique tales from the sea. We are excited to continue to arrange visits to the Society on a regular basis, and it feels particularly fitting as its maritime background fits very well with our own ethos.”

Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, CEO at The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, said:

“Social interaction and stimulation brought about through activities such as these visits to the Home is key for our residents, and it is incredibly rewarding to see our elderly residents responding positively to the younger generations.

“Our activities team are fantastic at helping to inspire those that reside at the home, and we look forward to continuing the partnership with the Sutton Sea Cadets as we plan more visits in the future.”

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