NEWS

DECEMBER 15TH 2017

Providing humanitarian relief in the Caribbean

A mother of three from Lincolnshire who serves as a reservist with HMS Sherwood, the East Midlands’ only Royal Naval Reserve unit, recently returned to the UK after providing humanitarian relief in the Caribbean.

Victoria Rogers, aged 42, travelled more than 4,000 miles from her home in Digby, Lincolnshire, to board HMS Ocean in the Caribbean in September where she coordinated the movements of both helicopters and landing craft that were in the area to provide assistance to those affected by both Hurricane Irma and Maria.

Working as an Environmental Health Officer at Newark and Sherwood District Council in her civilian life, Victoria volunteered to help with the relief effort as soon as her reserve unit asked for individuals to put themselves forward. She explained: “I learned that it is entirely possible to travel overseas at very short notice with the support of both my family and friends, as well as a very understanding workplace.”

Joining HMS Sherwood in 2013, Victoria believes she now gets the best of both the opportunities available to her in both her civilian and military careers.

Victoria Rogers

Victoria Rogers in the Caribbean

She continued: “I considered joining the Royal Navy full-time but realised this would be difficult as I have three young children. However, my local Armed Forces Careers Office pointed me in the direction of HMS Sherwood and I haven’t looked back since.

“I was in the Caribbean from 22 September to 9 October and joined more than 600 personnel on-board the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Ocean, which was carrying aid.”

During her deployment, Victoria worked as a Watch Keeper along with two other reservists from other parts of the UK, making sure that both people and equipment were in the right place at the right time.

Victoria said: “I was responsible for sorting out problems as they occurred which could be anything from alerting the relevant people that plans and timings may change due to operational difficulties to being juggling resources to make sure the day’s activities were carried out in the smoothest way possible.

Another one of Victoria’s tasks was to lead a team based on the site of a school, she explained: “My team and I cleared out and put back into use several areas in a primary school that was hit by the hurricane so that children could go back to school. It was an amazing feeling to be helping with such an essential project.”

Explaining what she hopes to achieve in her part-time career at HMS Sherwood in the future, Victoria concluded: “I just want to be able to keep helping people in the way my recent visit allowed me to do. I joined the unit hoping that if a situation occurred and I was suitably trained I would be able to volunteer my services.

“So many others also took part in the operation in the Caribbean and so much good was done to help the relief effort. It was an honour to be a part of a team of such amazing people, I feel really proud of us all.”

“I was in the Caribbean from 22 September to 9 October and joined more than 600 personnel on-board the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Ocean, which was carrying aid.”