Crew brew up for charity

THE CREW of HMS Montrose took a break from island-hopping in the South Atlantic recently for a well-earned cup of tea and a slice of cake - all in a good cause.

Organised by the ship’s female mess, Plymouth-based HMS Montrose played host to the Big Brew-Up in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) which supports servicemen and their families who may have fallen on difficult times.

The association helps more 50,000 servicemen and women every year, providing them with practical, financial and emotional support.

The ship’s fund-raiser was in stark contract to last year’s Big Brew-Up, which took place while the ship was in warmer climate on counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.

Montrose is on a continuing mission to visit all of British South Atlantic overseas territories and, at sea over the Christmas period, is due to return to her home port, Devonport, in May next year.

Plans for the event started a few days before, with 18 female crew members commandeering the ship’s galley and spending their off-watch time producing more than 500 cakes to sell.

Their hard work certainly paid off, with queues stretching out of the hangar door and on to the ship’s flight deck, and many people coming back for more. All the cakes were sold, raising £500 for SSAFA.

The driving force behind the event was Sub Lieutenant Rachel Cattermole who is undertaking her specialist warfare training on board.

She said: “SSAFA works tirelessly on behalf of both serving and ex-serving personnel, and I am really pleased that we have been able to support them through this event.

“The ship’s company and our visitors certainly dug deep in their pockets, which made the hard work in the galley worthwhile.”