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Merchant Navy Day 2019

Merchant Navy Day 2019

On Sunday 8th September, Carla Rockson, Head of Seafarer Education attended the annual Merchant Navy commemorative service which was held in Trinity Square Gardens, Tower Hill, London.

The service was well attended by many representing all aspects of seafaring to give thanks to those who gave themselves in the service of our nation at sea.

Wreaths were laid to pay respects to those who had lost their lives at sea and recognition was given to those who serve today. The Royal Naval Volunteer Band Association led the parade of Merchant Navy Standards and Standards of other Associations.

Carla paid her respects by laying a wreath on behalf of Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

International Day of the Seafarer

International Day of the Seafarer

This year to celebrate the Marine Society & Sea Cadet’s birthday as well as ‘International Day of the Seafarer’ we are sharing the story of Abigail. An ex-sea cadet who now works in the Merchant Navy.


“My name is Abbie Sanders. I joined Sea Cadets as a junior in 2008, as soon as I was old enough. Then I worked my way up to Leading Cadet over the 8 years I was there.

I thoroughly enjoyed and embraced my time at Sea Cadets and I am 100% certain that my current position and future was shaped during my time as a cadet.


“I was surrounded by enthusiastic and motivating staff that encouraged me to strive for my goals; one of which was becoming a dinghy instructor, which involved working abroad. The second goal was joining the Merchant Navy.

In 2014, Sea Cadets helped me to obtain my RYA dinghy instructor certificate. This allowed me to train other cadets, get a summer job working at home, and then abroad in Malta age 16.

This could have been quite daunting at a young age; going to live and work in a foreign country for a summer, but the skills and confidence I gained at Sea Cadets help me achieve my potential.


“This set me up well for my next adventure. Joining the Merchant Navy! The staff at Marine Society & Sea Cadets talked about careers at sea and encouraged me to embark on a Merchant Navy Deck Officer Cadetship!

In 2016, I left home and went to study at Warsash Maritime Academy.

Thanks to Marine Society & Sea Cadets, doing a Merchant Navy Cadetship meant a shipping company (in my case Trinity House) paid for all my costs and paid for my training. It beats getting into student debt!

Trinity house also provided me with ship placements during my cadetship.


“I have worked on two cruise ships, a tall ship, a superyacht and a buoy tender. By doing this, I travelled the world and visited nearly 25 countries including Australia, Seychelles, India, Norway and more!

During this time, I have learnt such valuable skills. I am excited to go back to my unit; to share my knowledge and show cadets how being a sea cadet can take us so far in life”.


- Abbie Sanders

Marine Society meet Ports and Shipping Minister

Marine Society meet Ports and Shipping Minister

Veronica head of Director of Policy & Young People Support and Carla Head of Seafarer Education attended the All- Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group at the Palace of Westminster, where a ministerial address was being made by Nusrat Ghani MP, Ports and Shipping Minister. In her address, she talked about the many projects, issues and opportunities that we currently face in the maritime industry and her aspirations to make a positive impact. She mentions Maritime 2050, Brexit challenges and LISW 2019. She took many questions from the floor. The meeting was chaired by Jim Fitzpatrick MP who pointed out the above average attendance from other MPs, which reflect the importance and interest in the meeting. As usual, there was very high attendance from industry stakeholders. 

After the meeting, Veronica and Carla spoke with her briefly and even got a photo opportunity!!

Royal Navy Open Day

Royal Navy Open Day

On Wednesday 13th March, Carla Rockson and Joan Pickering were invited to attend an Royal Navy Open Day at HMS Collingwood. This event was organised by the Learning and Development Hub Team to promote learning and development opportunities to serving personnel. Our GCSEs and A Level offer is promoted well by the Education Officers, who are impressed by the quality of our academic and pastoral support, that it is heavily subsidised and our excellent exam results.



Marine Society is delighted to report 100% pass rate for IGCSE Winter exams taken in January 2019. Learners who are studying IGCSEs have the option to take exams in the winter or summer series, depending on when they have completed their studies and are ready to take their exams. Each year a small number of learners opt to take their exams in the January series. Results were published in March and we are pleased to report that all our learners passed is subjects covering English, Maths and Physics.

Marine Society offers a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses to seafarers at affordable prices, and in a flexible format. Learners receive support from tutors and are able to take their exams on board ships or at Royal Navy and Royal Marines establishments.