Charity Profile

Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation

Registered Charity No.1153323


Founded in 1827, the charity is privileged to have been supported by the patronage of every British monarch since William IV (1836). Today, the charity benefits from the patronage of Her Majesty The Queen, as well as having HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as its President. Over the past two centuries, support has been, and continues to be, offered to children of Merchant Navy seafarers, professional sea-going fishermen and RNLI lifeboat crew members, who are either currently serving or have served at sea.


The Foundation believes that each young person is unique, with unique needs that require unique support and so every applicant is assessed individually. Factors such as domestic environment, geographical location, health and finance are all taken into careful consideration and a solution offered to provide the utmost support to those who need it most.


A wide range of financial and tangible benefits are included within the charity's goal of “enabling education" and can involve contributions towards school or university fees, living expenses, educational books, visits or equipment, school uniform costs – even laptops and internet access and, recently, a car. Following its motto, that 'Education is the Foundation', the Foundation works alongside other not-for-profit organisations within the sector to enable 'Foundationers' to obtain professional, career-entry qualifications for future employment.


Charles Heron-Watson, CEO, RMNEF says: “It's not just education for education's sake; the end goal is always to try to enable each Foundationer to obtain training and qualifications to enhance their employability.".


"We contacted the Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation after a friend told us that, as we were both long serving seafarers and our son had some educational needs, we might be eligible for some help.


We duly filled in the application form and, after a very thorough process, it was agreed that he would indeed benefit from being placed in a school that would better suit his needs. His early years were financially challenging for us and academically difficult for Joshua but, with the support of the Trustees and guided by the helpful and understanding Secretary Charles Heron Watson, our son eventually went on to achieve a First Class degree in Business IT.


This was a fantastic result which has given him a massive confidence boost and a great start to his working life. During his Gap Year, he applied and was accepted for a work experience post in the Human Resources department at his university with the aim of improving his practical and workplace skills. This wise decision paid real dividends when he applied for jobs after graduating. Every parent wants their children to have the best possible start in life and, thanks to the Foundation we have been able to achieve this.


"The guidance and support we received was invaluable in the development of this young man. None of this could have been achieved without the Foundation's help and we will always be massively indebted to them."

"Every parent wants their children to have the best possible start in life and, thanks to the Foundation we have been able to achieve this.The guidance and support we received was invaluable in the development of this young man.


None of this could have been achieved without the Foundation's help and we will always be massively indebted to them."

Please contact us during normal working hours on 01488 567890. Alternatively, email office@rmnef.org.uk or post 1a Charnham Lane, Hungerford, West Berkshire, RG17 0EY at any time of the year. Our website address is www.rmnef.org.uk.

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