On 21st July 2022, as Chair of the Royal NAAFI, I was invited to a short reception at the Services Cotswold Centre near Corsham, so that they could say thank you for the recent NAAFI Welfare grant they had received.
An idyllic hideaway for Service Families and individuals to live for a short time while they are between postings, or returning to the UK as short term transit accommodation, it is made up of 41 self-contained chalet style homes and 19 single storey semi-detached homes of various sizes.
Set in lovely, green and peaceful grounds, with even accommodation for short cadet and reserve exercises, this little-known welfare facility is run by the Army on behalf of all 3 Services and makes use of a barracks set up for WW2, particularly for US visiting troops.
After a short round of speeches to say thank you to all those who had contributed to making the centre a much better and smarter place, particularly after being fully used as a post-Covid recovery centre, I was shown round the facilities that the Royal NAAFI had helped smarten up.
Although primarily for families, the Cotswold Centre very much want there to be a community spirit, and as a result had asked us for support in improving communal welfare facilities – a comfortable sitting room and games room (the picture shows an empty space but will have a pool table eventually).
Looking smart, bright and fresh, the rooms looked inviting and I hope will be regularly used. And with a little spare cash, the Centre created a built in BBQ, ready for summer use.
It was heartening to see how a relatively small grant could go a long way, to deliver better welfare for those in need, at a time when, undoubtedly, for them there is a degree of uncertainty in their lives, as they stay briefly in this Centre.
– Richard Nugee, Non-Executive Director and NAAFI Chair