A CHARITY which helps serving navy sailors and their families is to get £150,000 from banks which illegally fixed mortgage lending rates.
The charity, Dame Agnes Weston’s Royal Sailors Rests, will use the money to expand its services, which are often a lifeline for sailors and submariners going through tough times.
It is a national charity based in Twyford Avenue, Stamshaw, and locally helps people at HMS Sultan and at the married quarters estate in Gosport as well as at HMS Collingwood in Fareham.
The charity also helps people at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth, as well as at family quarters and barracks from Poole to Scotland.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage welcomed the money.
She said: ‘This is part of the Chancellor’s plan to create stronger and safer banks and a by-product of that is that so many of those forces charities will benefit. It’ll make such a difference in areas such as ours where so many of these charities do so much.’
The money has come from the government, which fined those banks which collaborated to fix the Libor interest rate – a scandal which made headlines in June last year.
As a result, the government announced money from those banks involved would directly benefit armed forces charities, and has allocated a total of £35m to the fund.
Yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne announced a further 16 causes which will benefit – one being Aggie Weston’s, as the Portsmouth charity is known.
Theresa Pratt, development director for the charity, said £133,236 would be used to pay for two full-time community workers in Braeholm, Scotland, to help submariners who can struggle with the highly stressful working environment, as well as extra outreach services and on other projects.
A further £16,900 will go towards upgrading family centres in the charity’s bases around the UK in order to help those who are left behind when their loved ones are on deployment.
Theresa said: ‘It’s lovely that something that looked so greedy is going to help people who have a genuine need.’
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt also welcomed the money.
She said: ‘I’m delighted that a charity in Portsmouth has done so well out of the fund.
‘It is quite right that this organisation should benefit and I’m really glad we’re doing something like this with the money rather than seeing it disappear back into the Treasury.’