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.
The former Prince of Wales was Patron. The Royal Household is currently conducting a review of Royal Patronage.
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 is a retired senior officer appointed by the Central Committee; Admiral Sir Tim Fraser KCB took up post in March 2023.
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.
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
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.
Chief Petty Officer (Wtr) T Bale
Mr K Bell
Mrs S Bryant
Dr A Crossman
Mr B Daubeney
Mr G Hounslea BEM
Warrant Officer (Class 1) (CS) S Milne
Chief Petty Officer (Wtr) J Potts MBE
Mr I Ranscombe (VP)
Commander H Wright Royal Navy
The Trust employs a staff led by the Chief Executive, Commander Rob Bosshardt Royal Navy. The headquarters staff operates from Castaway House (Portsmouth), and deals with grants administration, finance, public relations and the day-to-day administration of the affairs of the Trust. The staff of the Trust’s care and nursing homes, Pembroke House (Gillingham), is led by the Home Manager, Carmen Cartmell, and Admiral Jellicoe House (Portsmouth) is run by Nikki Whyte .