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Veterans Today

Helping with the biggest move of their life

Shipmates & OPPOS: The support programme for leavers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

The Royal Naval Association (RNA) has over 20,000 members across 370 branches in the UK and overseas. The association is a family of current and former Naval Service personnel, relatives and supporters of the Royal Navy. Paul Quinn is General Secretary and here he tells us about what makes the Shipmates and OPPOS programme different from the many other charities and organisations out there offering support.

Paul Quinn, RNA General Secretary
Paul Quinn, RNA General Secretary

Joining the Naval Service is a big step, and leaving it can be an even bigger one. Just because someone’s left and handed in their ID card, doesn’t mean they’re no longer a part of the naval family.

As a Captain (Rtd) of the Royal Navy, I understand the importance of the unity and loyalty that is shared by the Naval Service family and I’m always looking at ways that we can support our shipmates and their families. The Shipmates & OPPOS programme is proving to be hugely successful at providing practical advice and support to those who might be struggling after leaving the service.

We’re here to help with a smooth transition to civilian life, providing an ‘arm around the shoulder’, guiding through the maze of state and charitable sector help available.

With so many charities and organisations offering help, the Shipmates & OPPOS Programme helps individuals find the right path to the assistance they seek. It’s also the introduction to the various associations that can provide practical, financial and social support.

I’m extremely proud of the programme that has helped many individuals and families find the support they need. We’ve recently helped an ex Royal Navy couple with a young family. They came to us seeking support after becoming homeless from their privately rented accommodation. The Shipmates and OPPOS programme helped by putting the family in contact with SSAFA and Veterans Scotland who provided the assistance they needed.

No matter the leaver’s length of service or rank, we can provide advice on a full range of subject areas such as financial assistance, debt, housing and employment.

Programme members can come to us for help as often as they need and we’ll also contact them every year to make sure everything is OK. I’m very keen to build on the success we’ve already had with the programme and I’m delighted that the programme was featured in the latest edition of Veterans World magazine.

To join the programme and get the advice you need, please contact:

Telephone 023 9272 0782


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