Royal Marine interview: Veterans community garden project

11 Jul 2024

Why is the Gordon Messenger Centre (GMC) – a military community hub based at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon – of such value to all who use it?  

As we count down to the impending construction of a garden here, we’ve spoken to some of those who use it, to find out… 

Royal Marine Lucas France, has been in the Corps for four years and is currently an Information Officer based at CTCRM. The 23-year-old pops across the road to the GMC to help out with the venue’s IT, when required. 

“There are so many facilities here, like the barbecue area, for us to use too,” he says. “It sounds small, but being able to come off camp for social stuff during our down time is really good, because it means we don’t have to travel into Exeter or Exmouth.

“Seeing how much there is for us here makes you feel appreciated. And seeing how supportive people are to one another here gives you motivation to progress in your career. 

“Being in the military is like a brotherhood; it doesn’t matter how long you were in for or how long you’ve left for. There’s a lack of opportunity to speak to veterans but coming here has given me the opportunity to meet many.” 

***The GMC June Best Sanctuary Garden, located at the Gordon Messenger Centre (GMC), a tri-service community hub at CTCRM, Lympstone, has been sponsored by SSAFA Devon The Armed Forces Charity, thanks to a generous legacy gift by former SSAFA Devon volunteer June Best. It is being built by volunteers from the military community, for the military community, and delivered by Splash Projects. Further substantial sponsorship has come from RMA-The Royal Marines Charity (donated as a legacy gift by a former Royal Marine through the Tavistock Freemasons/Sanctuary Lodge), with significant additional support from Vistry Group.***

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