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Council's Armed Forces Champion welcomed on board Royal Navy vessel

HMS Ranger visit
Councillor Davy (right) with Councillor Saunders and crew members of HMS Ranger behind.

Lewes District Council's Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Sharon Davy, was given a full tour of a Royal Navy boat when it docked at Brighton Marina last Monday (October 4). 

HMS Ranger is a P2000-class vessel of the First Patrol Boat Squadron, usually based in Portsmouth, and is affiliated to Lewes District Council and the town of Newhaven.

The patrol boat was expected to dock at Newhaven Marina but the location was changed due to high winds and a rough sea.

As well as her husband, Councillor Davy was joined on board by Councillor Steve Saunders, who represents Newhaven North, and Russ Funnel, First Lieutenant and Training Officer at Newhaven.

A planned sea trip was unable to go ahead because of the weather conditions but the visitors enjoyed a comprehensive tour of the vessel and lunch.

They were warmly welcomed by Chief Petty Office Matthew Cosham and were introduced to the crew of the HMS Ranger, which provides at-sea training for Royal Navy Cadets and University Royal Naval Units.

Councillor Davy said: "Listening to Lieutenant Benjamin Hammick and his crew's enthusiastic experiences of the Royal Navy, I learnt how valuable their transferable skills are, if and when they leave the Royal Navy.

"These apprenticeships combine practical on-the-job training with study - training and skills at all levels, being part of a team, discipline and an attitude that "this is a lifestyle, not a job". The apprenticeship programme started in 1998 and trains 2,500 apprentices every year, not forgetting post-graduate career prospects."

This was Councillor Davy's second visit to HMS Ranger as she had greeted the vessel in Newhaven in March but Covid restrictions meant she was only able to enjoy a socially-distanced chat with the crew on shore.

She added: "I hadn't expected such a delicious on-board cooked lunch and was impressed - our Royal Navy are multi-talented. I hope to have a chance to meet HMS Ranger again and head out to sea."

Lewes District Council recognises those who have served in the Armed Forces within its housing allocations policy and veterans are reminded to declare this status under appropriate questions on their Housing Register Application Form.