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HMS Ledbury hosts charity in Bahrain

29 August 2018
HMS Ledbury’s deputy weapon engineering officer, Petty Officer Robert Knott, shows off the ship’s 30mm cannon during a visit from students in Bahrain.

Eleven youngsters from Bahrain for All (BHR4All) charity enjoyed a real hands-on experience on board followed by lunch ashore at the UK Naval Support Facility.

The minehunter’s CO, Lieutenant Commander Claire Thompson, said: “It’s really important for us to put these days on. HMS Ledbury has been out here for a number of years, although my crew has just arrived.

“We spend most of our time at sea as part of the Royal Navy’s enduring presence in the Gulf. For the sailors alongside, this is a really good way of showing the local community what we do.”

For the sailors alongside, this is a really good way of showing the local community what we do.

Lieutenant Commander Claire Thompson RN

Among the activities enjoyed by the visitors were manning the ship’s cannon and getting fully kitted out in diving equipment.

They particularly enjoyed working with the firefighting equipment, especially trying to spray HMS Ledbury’s sister ship, HMS Blyth, with salt water from the fire hoses.

They were shown the nerve centre of the ship, the operations room, and experienced naval communications by using the ship’s internal radios.

The organiser and founder of BHR4All, Nivedita Dhadphale said: “Days like this are extremely important. These young adults are part of our society and they have every right to see what goes on out there.

“We have a mix of Down Syndrome, autistic, cerebral palsy and intellectual disability students. They enjoyed themselves so much, they will remember the experience. We’re deeply grateful to all involved.”

The UK armed forces located in the UK NSF are planning to support some of the charity’s other ventures.

Warrant Officer Mick Parkinson RAF, who works at UK Maritime Component Command, the headquarters for Royal Navy operations in the Gulf, said. “We are looking at bringing down some local female young people to meet female members of HM forces here in Bahrain.

“There are also plans to do some other work helping out with the renovation a women’s refuge and putting on some entertainment at a senior citizen’s home.”

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