Debbie brings broad experience across the wider charities sector, having most recently served as Director of Health and Wellbeing at Morden College, a prestigious City-backed Almshouse Charity specialising in residential, domiciliary care and support for older people; prior to that Debbie was Chief Operating Officer at Guild Care, a Worthing based social care charity providing care homes, day services, respite care and home care for older people, respite support for people living with dementia and their carers.

Debbie Dollner said:

“It is an honour to have been asked to join the RNBT family. With such a proud and important history I am delighted to be working alongside the remarkable people that touch the lives of those supported by the RNBT. Knowing the difference the Trust makes to those most in need, I am looking forward to continuing the charity’s incredible work. I would like to thank the trustees and staff for this very special opportunity.”

Russell Best, Chair of Trustees said:

“Following a robust recruitment programme, we are pleased to announce we will welcome our new Chief Executive this April. We look forward to her arrival and welcome her onboard as we embark on the exciting next phase of the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust’s journey. As we expand our Care and Benevolence offerings to Royal Navy and Royal Marines, serving and former serving and their families and dependants, I am sure that Debbie has the right combination of talent, experience and innovative thinking to lead us forward.”

The appointment of Debbie Dollner follows the news that the current Chief Executive, Rob Bosshardt, is retiring after seven years with the Trust.

On the announcement of his departure. Rob Bosshardt said:

‘It has been my great privilege to have led RNBT as Chief Executive over the last seven years. I have been brilliantly supported by staff at Castaway House, Pembroke House and Admiral Jellicoe House, as well as working with superb trustees and volunteers. RNBT is a really special organisation in which helping our people is always at the heart of all that we do. We have made so many advances including delivering Admiral Jellicoe House as our centenary care home project and developing our benevolence processes, which withstood the sternest of tests during the pandemic. I am retiring with a sense of pride in our achievements and very fond memories. I wish Debbie all the success in the world as she leads The RNBT to the next phase of its development as the major naval benevolence delivery charity.’

The RNBT was first formed in waters off Orkney ahead of the Battle of Jutland. Commander-in-Chief, Admiral John Jellicoe set up a benevolent fund for sailors and their loved ones, shelling out £50 – around £4,000 today – to help sailors and their families rebuild their lives following what became the largest naval battle of World War One. 

That £50 was the beginning of the Grand Fleet Fund which later became the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust in 1922. Now, more than 100 years on, that same fund is still helping those who have served – and those closest to them.

The attached article in the Scotsman Scottish National Newspaper details the key events that formed the RNBT and the positive impact that we have had as a charity on RN and RM serving personnel and their families over the past 100 years.

We have an estimated 200,000 serving sailors, veterans and family members in Scotland able to access financial help, with around £3m available each year to support RN and RM families nationwide.

View the article here.