A fundamental characteristic of the RNBT is that the majority of trustees and other volunteer members are serving and ex-serving RN ratings and RM other ranks. This dates back to the founding principles of the Grand Fleet Fund, the forerunner of the RNBT, established by Admiral Lord Jellicoe in 1916.

A charity with a Royal Charter

The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust was incorporated under Royal Charter granted on the 2nd May 1922, and is registered with the Charity Commission (number 206243). The Charter has been updated over the years.


His Majesty King Charles III

Vice Patron

The Trust may appoint Vice Patrons from time to time and currently there are three. Mr Ken Lambert BEM, who was chairman of the Grant Committee from 2010 to 2017 and a trustee from 2010 to 2018 is a Vice Patron.  The trustees granted the honour of becoming a Vice Patron to Mr Nick Jellicoe, naval author and grandson of Admiral Jellicoe, the founder of the Grand Fleet Fund in 2018. Recently the trustees also granted the honour of becoming a Vice Patron to Jenny Agutter OBE.


The governing body of the RNBT is known as the Central Committee, and its members are the trustees of the charity. The Chairman of the Trust chairs the Central Committee, and its members are the Vice President (also the Honorary Treasurer), the Admiralty Governor, the Senior Serving Officer Trustee, the Specialist Trustees and the Ordinary Member Trustees. The Central Committee meets three times per annum, supported by three standing sub-committees, the Finance and Risk Committee,  the Care and Safeguarding Committee and the Benevolence Committee, which report to the Central Committee.

The President

The President is a retired senior officer appointed by the Central Committee;  Admiral Sir Tim Fraser KCB took up post in March 2023.

The Chairman

The Chairman of the Trust is a retired senior officer who is elected by the Central Committee; Commodore Russell Best OBE was elected in February 2023.

The Vice President and Honorary Treasurer

These posts can only be filled from the body of Ordinary Member trustees. Mr Ian Ranscombe (former CCY Royal Navy) was elected to both posts in November 2019.

Senior Officer Trustees

In addition to the Chairman there are two other Senior Officer Trustees, one carries the title “Admiralty Governor” and, as with the Chairman, is a retired senior officer who is elected by the Central Committee, and the other is a senior serving officer. Both are volunteers who join the Central Committee by virtue of their competence and interest in the work of the Trust.

The Admiralty Governor Trustee is Colonel Matt Stovin-Bradford Royal Marines. The Senior Officer Trustee post is Captain Jonathan Carrigan Royal Navy.

Specialist Trustees

Good governance requires that the trustee body comprises an appropriate cross section of skills. The Trust has four such specialists offering skill-sets in finance and investment, legal matters, care and safeguarding, building projects management.  As with all the trustees, they are all volunteers who have a genuine interest in the work of the Trust.

Lieutenant Commander T Forer Royal Navy – Legal and Management

Mr N Gartside CFA – Investment & Finance

Mr A Krzysica – Care Home Project

Mrs P Shaw OBE – Care and Safeguarding

Ordinary Members

There are up to ten Ordinary Member Trustees who are serving or former RN ratings or RM other ranks, all of whom serve a three year term that is renewable subject to being re-elected.

Sarah Bryant

Dr Alf Crossman

Natalie Ellis-Burt

Geoff Hounslea BEM

David McGinley

Peter Hopkins

Stevie Milne

Chief Petty Officer (Wtr) Janine Potts MBE

Ian Ranscombe (Vice President)

Commander Helen Wright Royal Navy


The Trust employs a team led by Chief Executive, Debbie Dollner. The headquarters staff operate from Castaway House in Portsmouth and deal with grants, finance, public relations and the day-to-day affairs of the Trust. The Home Managers of the Trust’s care homes are Zoe Oakley at Pembroke House in Gillingham, Kent and Jade Delaney at Admiral Jellicoe House in Portsmouth.