The newest of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales, will support the region’s specialist hospices for children and young adults, Naomi House & Jacksplace, for the life of the ship.
The Ship’s Company of the 65,000 tonne vessel have affirmed a Bond of Friendship with the hospices, meaning current and future ship’s companies will commit to supporting the most seriously ill children and young adults across southern England. The Senior Rates of HMS Prince of Wales have already provided significant support to the charity and visited the state of the art hospices, near Winchester.
HMS Prince of Wales is expected to remain in service for up to 50 years and will be home to some 1,600 crew members. With the ship nearing the end of its build phase in Rosyth, it is expected she will take to sea later this year before making her home at HM Naval Base Portsmouth.
Staff from Naomi House & Jacksplace have visited HMS Prince of Wales at various stages of her construction and addressed the ship’s Warrant Officers’ and Senior Rates’ Mess.
Mark Smith, Chief Executive at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said:
‘Our Bond of Friendship with HMS Prince of Wales has been the talk of the hospices since we first found out about this very special partnership. Naomi House & Jacksplace has enjoyed the support of HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan and the Royal Navy’s long-serving flagship, HMS Ark Royal. We know the passion and tenacity with which the men and women of HMS Prince of Wales will approach their charitable activities and thank them for their support.’
Commodore Stephen Moorhouse, HMS Prince of Wales’ first seagoing commanding officer, said:
‘When she enters service, HMS Prince of Wales will play a pivotal role in supporting the UK’s diplomatic, security and economic interests around the globe. Our Bond of Friendship with Naomi House & Jacksplace will serve as a permanent link to our home in Portsmouth and the UK. I look forward to working with my crew and representatives of this excellent charity to ensure this ship makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of seriously ill children, young adults and their families across Southern England.’
As the hospice serving Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, Surrey and the Isle of Wight, Naomi House & Jacksplace offers care and support to a number of military and naval families on good days, difficult days and last days. The hospices currently care for some 550 local families.
HMS Prince of Wales is 280 metres long and capable of embarking 36 F-35B and four Crowsnest AEW helicopters. She will have a minimum crew complement of 700, increasing to around 1,600 with aircraft onboard.