Women's Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust
The WRNS Benevolent Trust was established in 1942 to help in cases of hardship among the thousands of women who served in the Women's Royal Naval Service. A member is anyone who served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service and transferred to the Royal Navy before 1 November 1993, or anyone who has served in the WRNS since 3 September 1939. This amounts to 143,000 women and there are currently 50,000 members.
The Trust assists approximately 350 former Wrens and their families each year and in 2013 spent over £300,000 on annual and one off grants. Over the last seven decades it has helped more than 12,000 women.
All Trustees are former Wrens including our current Service and Royal Navy and Royal Marines representatives.
We have no caseworkers of our own and therefore work mainly with the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), and their caseworkers call on any applicant on our behalf. They are discreet and knowledgeable, and can give friendly support and advice on a wide variety of matters. They complete a report, which is then put before our Grants Committee for consideration.
All applications are treated with strict confidentiality and there is no need for anyone to know other than the case working organisation, ourselves and of course the people directly concerned. Even the Grants Committee who consider each case are not given names or addresses, only a case number and the relevant details required in order to reach a decision.
Members of the Grants Committee (including those now serving in the RN) are all former Wrens, and give their time and assistance voluntarily. Although the RBL and SSAFA are our main source for caseworkers we do sometimes use other organisations.
Members may apply to us for help direct or a relation or friend does so on their behalf. With the member’s consent we then contact the appropriate organisation in his or her area and arrange for caseworker to visit.