Legacy has the backs of Navy veterans and families

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Jessica Craig (author), LSIS Leo Baumgartner (photographer)

Topic(s): Legacy, Legacy Week

Family of the late Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Allcroft; Ms Kaylea Allcroft, left, and Ms Kym Alexander share their story as part of Legacy Week 2020, at Woolloomooloo, Sydney. (photo: LSIS Leo Baumgartner)
Family of the late Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Allcroft; Ms Kaylea Allcroft, left, and Ms Kym Alexander share their story as part of Legacy Week 2020, at Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

For 78 years, Legacy has had the backs of the families of Navy veterans who have given their lives or health.

Legacy provides life-altering services in the form of counselling, special housing, educational, social, medical and advocacy support. Legacy is a safeguard for Navy veterans and their families should the worst ever happen, such as in the case of the late Leading Seaman Adam Allcroft.

Leading Seaman Allcroft was a Boatswains Mate who served in the Navy for six years in HMAS Sydney, HMAS Hobart and HMAS Newcastle (where he completed operational service in the Gulf).

In 2008, in a sudden and devastating moment for his young family, Leading Seaman Allcroft was tragically taken in a cycling accident. His children, Kaylea and Nathan were just ten and eight years old. Their mother, Kym Alexander said the death of their father had a lasting impact on the children.

“Losing Adam was detrimental to our whole family, but particularly for the children who didn’t get to grow up with a main male role model in their lives,” Ms Alexander said.

“It was not just big celebrations that were impacted, but when they were sad or happy, they didn’t have another person to share it with. They just had me and it makes me so sad Adam missed all of that because he loved them so much.”

Kaylea Allcroft said growing up without her father meant reliving his loss every time he was not there to create those memories during the formative events of her youth.

“It was really hard losing my Dad at ten because it always felt like I was missing a piece,” Miss Allcroft said.

“Until I met other kids through Legacy who had gone through the same thing, it felt like no one understood and it was hard only ever having Mum at celebrations where everyone else would have both parents.”

Family member of the late Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Allcroft; Ms Kym Alexander displays some Legacy merchandise for Legacy Week 2020, at Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

Family member of the late Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Allcroft; Ms Kym Alexander displays some Legacy merchandise for Legacy Week 2020, at Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

While the death of Leading Seaman Allcroft has always affected the family, six months after his passing they were given an enduring ray of light following a phone call from Legacy.

“From the moment we got the call from Legacy we felt at ease and were made to feel loved and supported,” Ms Alexander said.

“Legacy has helped us in so many ways and given us the opportunity to experience things I couldn’t possibly have given to my children as a single Mum.”

As with the other 52,000 Legacy beneficiaries Australia-wide, Legacy has provided the family with critical financial and social support and experiences that has helped them navigate a life they were never prepared for, or imagined could happen to them.

“I’m now a Peer Support Mentor and Mum is becoming a Legatee because we both know how invaluable social support and creating lifelong friends through Legacy has been to surviving and growing through grief,” Miss Allcroft said.

This week marks Legacy Week 2020, the charity’s primary annual fundraising campaign. To help families like the Allcrofts, Navy has established an Everyday Hero fundraising page to help ensure the longevity of this vital support service.

Ms Alexander said she couldn’t be more grateful to all the personnel who volunteer with badge trays every year and everyone who donates.

“My message to the ADF volunteers and everyone who donates is thank you. Thank you for your support and your time. Thank you for helping us and similar families out, hopefully it won’t happen to you or anyone you know, but take comfort in the fact that if it does, Legacy are there to support you,” Ms Alexander said.

You can donate online here, or buy merchandise such as bears and badges at any Navy Canteen or at Legacy’s online shop.

Family of the late Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Allcroft, Ms Kaylea Allcroft, left, and Ms Kym Alexander share their story as part of Legacy Week 2020, at Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

Family of the late Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Adam Allcroft, Ms Kaylea Allcroft, left, and Ms Kym Alexander share their story as part of Legacy Week 2020, at Woolloomooloo, Sydney.