Reservists show their bosses the ropes on warship

VISIT Lt Cdr Simon Lewis, Sharon Atkins and John Atkins of Aish Technologies
VISIT Lt Cdr Simon Lewis, Sharon Atkins and John Atkins of Aish Technologies
HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier leaves Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time on October 30. 

Picture: Malcolm Wells

HMS Queen Elizabeth due into Portsmouth next week

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NAVAL reservists have given their civilian employers an insight to life at sea by inviting them on board a Type 45 destroyer.

The visit to HMS Dauntless was organised to raise awareness of the work naval reservists do and their experiences at sea.

Reservists’ civilian bosses were invited on a guided tour of the warship during a break in its busy operational schedule.

It was organised by sailors from Portsmouth’s reserve unit, HMS King Alfred, which is based on Whale Island.

Commander Kevin Robertson, the commanding officer of HMS King Alfred, said: ‘I am delighted with the success of the evening and keen for the Royal Naval Reserves to continue to forge a stronger relationship within the community in which they live and work.

‘We must continue to engage directly with business leaders and other organisations within our community to communicate the expectation of future defence structures.’

Employers including AWE Limited, Datanet Communications, DSTL, Ricardo UK PLC, The Royal Yachting Association, Virgin Experience Days and South Central Ambulance Service were invited.

They were given a tour of HMS Dauntless’ bridge, control room, hangar, operations room and officer’s wardroom to get an understanding of how the navy operates its newest type of warship.

John Atkins is the sales director of Aish Technologies in Poole.

He employs Lieutenant Commander Simon Lewis, who is based at the Portsmouth reserve unit.

Mr Atkins said: ‘I’ve been so impressed by the ship, especially the expert knowledge and enthusiasm of our young navy guide.

‘I know my own company is proud to be involved in supporting the Royal Navy’s operational capability, not only by providing equipment but also by supporting the volunteers of the Royal Naval Reserve.’

More than 1,500 firms across the South East have had their commitment to supporting the reserve forces recognised.

As reported in The News, the government is currently in the middle of boosting the reserve forces.

The Future Reserve Forces plan aims to see 3,100 trained Royal Navy and Royal Marine reserves by 2015.

‘BEING A RESERVIST HELPED ME THROUGH THE ORDEAL’

A NURSE who suffered a series of crippling strokes and severe depression has credited her work as a Royal Naval Reservist with helping her fight her way back to fitness.

Kathy Pink, from Havant, was only 33 when she was hit by the strokes and seizures.

However, she was determined not to give up her duties as reservist at HMS King Alfred in Portsmouth.

The 40-year-old said: ‘I think it’s having a rewarding dual career that constantly pushes me outside my comfort zone, along with my family, friends and colleagues who are open to discussing tricky subjects like depression, that have pulled me through.

‘Although some people may feel a bit embarrassed talking about it, admitting that all isn’t well is half the battle to getting the help and support you need. And the sooner you can get help the sooner you get your life back.’