Military charities debate measuring success of services in Portsmouth

Military charities and welfare organisations gathered at the Portsmouth Maritime Club last week to discuss the importance of identifying how effective their service delivery is.

Charities in attendance at the workshop, which was organised by The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), sought to explore specific techniques for measuring the impact of their services.

Guest speakers included representatives from Seafarers UKthe You Trust, and Alabaré — the third of which supports vulnerable, homeless, and marginalised armed forces veterans.

In total, 38 delegates from 18 local and national organisations attended the workshop, held on Friday 16th September.

Introducing the day’s session, RNRMC Chief Executive Robert Robson explained how demand for funding from major grant-makers — such as the Portsmouth-based RNRMC — was growing ‘exponentially’ and increasing the necessity for thorough impact evaluation.

He said: “Money is tight — we must be more specific about the areas we fund. That’s why impact is so important.

“Impact to me is difference — change that can be measured by intervention. We need to measure the difference and us of our funds effectively. We want to be pragmatic in assessing the difference you make.”

As part of her address, Deborah Layde from Seafarers UK told delegates that if they “put beneficiaries at the heart of what you do, then measuring impact can be easy.”

Meanwhile, keynote speakers Nicola Youern from the You Trust reiterated the need to measure and find gaps in funding provision, reminding the audience that charities must ultimately be accountable for how donors’ money is spent.

Delegates then took part in a series of roundtable discussions about how they measure impact, according to a number of pre-assigned case studies.

This was the second time the RNRMC had hosted such an event, following a successful workshop in April which focused on assessing need within Naval Service communities, at present and in the future.

The full attendance of the workshop was as follows:

  • Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare
  • Royal Navy
  • KIDS
  • Naval Families Federation
  • Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
  • Sailors’ Children’s Society
  • Seafarers UK
  • Not Forgotten Association


  • White Ensign Association
  • Relate Portsmouth
  • Alabaré
  • Veterans Outreach Support
  • Greenwich Hospital
  • You Trust
  • Royal Navy Royal Marines Children’s Fund
  • Royal Maritime Club
  • The Ripple Pond