HMS Montrose and families run to meet each other for NHS

Crew and families of HMS Montrose are running to meet each other to raise thousands of pounds for the NHS.

Both are attempting to cover the distance between the ship in Bahrain and her home base of Devonport in Plymouth.

The frigate is based at the Royal Navy’s support facility in Bahrain for approximately three years, with her crew changing entirely several times per year – trading places with counterparts who fly out from the UK.

The ship’s 200-strong Starboard crew are at the end of their most recent stint in the Gulf and Middle East, most of which has been spent at sea keeping merchant shipping safe and also clamping down on drug trafficking (including seizing £6m illegal narcotics).

In the final days before they hand over the keys to Montrose to their counterparts on the Port crew, and to give a little fillip to morale to families back home who’ve been locked down for more than month, the ship’s physical training instructor Damon ‘Dinga’ Bell hit upon an idea to get everyone involved.

We wanted to show our support for those at home in the UK by running to meet our loved ones. As most of our families are observing lockdown this is also an opportunity for them to join us virtually by running or walking during their daily exercise hour to meet us half way.

Leading Physical Trainer Bell

“We wanted to show our support for those at home in the UK by running to meet our loved ones,” Leading Physical Trainer Bell said.

“As most of our families are observing lockdown this is also an opportunity for them to join us virtually by running or walking during their daily exercise hour to meet us half way.”

So far more than 190 grandparents, parents, partners, brothers, sisters and children of the ship’s company have chipped in, such as weapon engineer Warrant Officer Christopher Nutbean’s youngsters Jacob and Scarlett who clocked up 2½ miles on the treadmill.

Their efforts have been matched by the ship’s company. Collectively, the Montrose family are just 800 miles from their goal – and all while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

“Each day personnel and families are smashing in the miles any way they can; running, walking, treadmill and also on baby walkers for the younger ones, chipping away daily at the target.

“Not only have we covered more than 2,500 miles in seven days, but it’s brought Montrose Starboard crew and their families even closer with the daily update and pictures.”

Damon had set the modest target of £1,000 for the NHS. They’re already past the £3k mark and you can support their efforts here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/damon-bell-run-home

And if they collectively run/walk more than 3,312 miles, they intend to keep on running, such as the distance to the home of the sailor who lives farthest from Plymouth.