Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Press release for worthy medial recipient

Morgan PR is proud to work with a number of local charities, one of which is the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation, and we were delighted to help when its hard working secretary was award a very prestigious medal, and provide the photography for the release:

A Ramsbury man who has devoted his life to the Royal Merchant Navy has been awarded the The Merchant Navy Medal, a prestigious honour which reward meritorious service and acts of courage afloat by British registered merchant seafarers

Commander Charles Heron-Watson is the secretary of the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation which helps the needy children of those who have been in the service of the Merchant Navy.

“I am delighted of course,” said Commander Heron-Watson. “However, it would not be possible without the Foundation, which for 180 years has been carrying out essential work for the needy children of merchant seafarers.

“I have been Secretary for two years, although before that I was a caseworker which means I certainly understand the problems, but not just because of eight years of casework, but also because of I was chairman of the Education Trusts Forum for three years, which impacts on the lives of some 3,000 children; indeed the Foundation is part of the Forum.”

The chairman of the Foundation, John Adey, said: “The Trustees of the Royal Merchant Navy School Foundation are delighted to note the decision of the Merchant Navy Medal Committee to award the Merchant Navy Medal 2008 to the Foundation’s Secretary, Commander Charles Heron-Watson, in recognition of his services to the education and welfare of the needy children of British Merchant Navy seafarers.

Commander Heron-Watson says the recession will make the work of the Foundation even more essential: “There is no question the economic downturn is going to have a serious impact on the parents of many of our benefactors and more children will become needy.

“To qualify a child must have a parent who has served at sea in the Merchant Navy for longer than five years and they have to been needy; we are able to offer in their personal development provided it is ‘education for employment’ from the start of their education up to the age of about 25.

“Every time we help someone fulfil their potential it is a success, although sometime the help we give can also have a dramatic impact on the lives of others. We helped Emily Maw finish her law degree and now she is a director of The Innocence Project in New Orleans carrying out human rights work which has seen as many as a dozen conviction overturned.

“Our biggest challenge has always been making sure that people are aware of the Foundation and the work that we do; now that is going to become even more important.”

British seafarers are employed by companies, not the State; they had never had a decoration of their own to reward meritorious service or acts of courage until the recent introduction of The Merchant Navy Medal, which is awarded annually on Trafalgar Day.

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