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Royal Naval Writers Association

Formed in 1887 - The Oldest Military Association

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Project Semaphore

Project Semaphore
Room 29 Semaphore Tower
HM Naval Base

Project Semaphore is a Royal Naval Association initiative, funded by the Aged Veterans Fund, to help naval veterans realise the benefits of being online and to address issues of social isolation and loneliness. We provide an iPad and a Pay as You Go SIM for those without Broadband (a 12Gb SIM card with £30 credit to get them started, thereafter costs are met by individuals).

I am contacting you to explore how we could engage and offer iPads to your members/group. First steps are for you to identify eligible candidates (criteria set by the Aged Veteran Fund):

  • Over 65 years of age
  • A Royal Navy or Royal Marines Veteran (including Widows); as this is a Royal Naval Association led Project, it does not currently include Army and RAF Veterans, but may do so in the future.
  • Do not have regular, personal access to the Internet

Fellow Shipmates volunteer to help set up the devices and provide guidance to enable the use of FaceTime – to have video conversations with old shipmates and friends from the comfort of their own homes, online shopping facilities to have groceries and other purchases delivered to their homes, email and other social media to maintain contact and send or receive information. This is very much a peer support led Project, the iPad remains the property of the RNA and recipients agree to providing feedback on their experience.

The Project has been hugely successful and over 200 iPads are now being used by Veterans exploring the Internet for the first time. We have reached out to Care Homes, and some collective iPad training sessions in RNA Branches which has created the added benefit of community spirit and social gatherings. Providing an iPad and the support of a fellow Shipmate is really making a huge difference to Veterans lives:

“Glynne served on HMS Newfoundland and his Son often prints information about the ship from the Internet to share with his Dad. Glynne is so excited (in fact overwhelmed) that he can use his iPad to find more details and pictures of the ship and maybe reconnect with some old Shipmates…Glynne is 92 years old!”

I would be delighted to contact you to provide further information.


Sarah Clewes RN Veteran (served 1991-2012)
Project Semaphore – Project Manager

Application Form

Click here to view the Application Form for IPad via RNA (PDF)