HMS Montrose crew support local causes

Sailors from HMS Montrose met residents at Dorward House care home in Montrose
Sailors from HMS Montrose met residents at Dorward House care home in Montrose

Sailors from HMS Montrose maintained their strong links with the people of Angus by donating money to two worthy causes during her visit to her namesake port.

The Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate visited Montrose for the first time in six years and only the fourth time in 20 years last week.

During Montrose’s visit to Angus, the sailors generously handed over cash to two charities the ship has been supporting for more than two decades - Dorward House care home in Montrose and the Angus branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) based in Forfar.

Commander James Parkin, the Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, said: “As well as the considerable pride of taking my ship into the town of Montrose, the opportunity to visit Angus RDA and Dorward House while we were there was as rewarding as it was humbling.

“We have supported both institutions for more than 20 years now, and all of my team relished the chance to meet some of the beneficiaries of these amazing charities, as well as make our own contribution to their funds.”

While the ship was in town, sailors visited Dorward House, which is the ship’s longest standing affiliation. They met many of the long -term residents and stayed for afternoon tea.

Commander Parkin presented a cheque for £1,000 to Dorward House’s deputy manager Lavine McMaster to assist the home in continuing the vital work they do in the community.

Leading engineering technician Sean Starkie said: “It was wonderful to meet the residents of Dorward House, they were all in such high spirits and made us feel very welcome in their home. It’s quite rare for us to make it to the town and everyone we met really appreciated our visit.”

On the same day, another team from HMS Montrose met the riders and horses of the RDA with the captain even taking to the saddle, before presenting a cheque for £1,000 to the centre.

The crew has been supporting the work of the riding school since 1992 - this was while their ship was still being built and they were waiting to serve in her.

Lieutenant George Lewis, one of the officers under training on the ship, said: “I never imagined when I joined the Royal Navy that I would get involved in a good cause like this.

“It was really rewarding to see the riders get so much out of the experience, and although I’m a little too tall to ride the ponies, it looked brilliant fun.”