After fishing at sea, Iona Taylor’s father returned home and suffered a heart attack that left him with a brain injury and so, to enable her to fulfil her dream of completing her education, the RMNEF is providing her with a car to make her travel between home and the university in Aberdeen easier.
In 1827, the RMNEF was founded specifically to provide board and lodging for the orphans of British Merchants’ Seamen and, also, sufficient education to enable these orphans to obtain employment. Since then and still a charity of the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleet and the RNLI, the Foundation now helps not only orphans but also children and young people who are in need, such as Iona.
No matter the size of the support, the RMNEF lives by its belief that ‘Education is the Foundation’ and the charity’s main objective has remained steadfast throughout the past two centuries: to provide educational help to needy children of Merchant Navy seafarers, professional sea-going fishermen and RNLI lifeboat crew members, who are either currently serving or have served at sea, and who have found themselves unable to support their children’s educational needs.
Each beneficiary is assessed on an individual basis, to ensure the support provided meets the unique needs of that particular young person. A range of support can be provided to “enable education” and might involve contributions towards school or university fees, living expenses, educational books, visits or equipment, school uniform costs – even laptops and, in this case, the provision of a car. It’s not just education for education’s sake; the end goal is to always provide each beneficiary with sufficient assistance in training for and obtaining employment in the future.
Accepting the car, Iona said: “Having this car will make my travel from home to Aberdeen so much easier and I am extremely grateful to the RMNEF for their support ”.
Charles Heron-Watson, Secretary of the RMNEF, said: “We’re always delighted to be able to help a young person continue with their education. Ultimately education is the foundation for us as well as for the young people that we help; and we are always looking for more children and young people of seafaring families so we can also help them obtain a professional, career-entry qualification”.
For more information about the Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation and to see if eligible for help, please visit www.rmnef.org.uk.