Navy needs help to Keep Watch

Published on LEUT Kirsti Burtenshaw (author), SGT William Guthrie (photographer)

Commodore Peter Laver (left) with members of the 'Keeping Watch' Grants Committee in Russell Offices, Canberra. (photo: SGT William Guthrie)
Commodore Peter Laver (left) with members of the 'Keeping Watch' Grants Committee in Russell Offices, Canberra.

The Royal Australian Navy’s own charity Keeping Watch is hoping to continue its charitable ways by securing essential sponsorship to support its initiatives for 2015 and beyond.

Keeping Watch has been working towards providing care and support for Navy people since its inception in 2012. At the end of 2014, Keeping Watch had accumulated enough money to commence providing grants to Navy families in need. The charity achieves its aims predominantly through the provision of financial assistance to individuals and their families when times are tough or unexpected crises occur.

Commodore Peter Laver, Chair of the Keeping Watch Grants Committee said the charity provided great support to the Navy family.

“Last year we were able to assist four families just before Christmas with a total of over $15,000 worth of grants. The successful applicants all had different reasons for applying, however the common theme was that they were suffering some form of hardship that Keeping Watch were able to assist with,” Commodore Laver said.  

Through ongoing sponsorship, Keeping Watch will consider another round of routine grant applications in March. Captain Lisa Batchler, also a member of the Keeping Watch Grants Committee said she was pleased with progress but that ongoing sponsorship was integral to a successful future.

“When unexpected tragedy or disaster strikes, we want to be there and help our members, but we need support and generosity from the Navy community to enable us to do so. 

"Defence provides a wide range of support services through the Defence Community Organisation, mental health providers and the Divisional system, however urgent monetary help during unexpected times of hardship such as a family death is incredibly valuable,” Captain Batchler said.

Keeping Watch is a sub-committee of the Royal Australian Navy’s Relief Trust Fund and is a recognised charity. All donations over $2 are tax deductable. To make either a one off or an ongoing donation via credit card or direct debit visit www.keepingwatch.org.au