On 14 October, HMS President opened its doors to the Tower Hamlets and Greater London community for a special event aimed at strengthening ties with under-represented communities and increasing diversity within the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Commodore Mel Robinson, Commander of the Maritime Reserve, gave a passionate speech on shaping an outward looking organisation with the local community at its heart. She was joined by Honorary Captain Durdana Ansari, Yashmin Harum, Councillor Hina Bokhari, and Lord Khan of Burnley all of who spoke to the importance of diversity and inclusion and what it meant to them.

A number of exciting demonstrations gave guests a flavour of what the Maritime Reserve is all about. Commando Chef cooked up a storm with creative recipes fit to fuel a fighting force and the Royal Marines showed off their impressive skills. Out on the Thames-side deck, attendees got to witness a ceremonial sunset enhanced by the Guard of Honour and music from the Royal Marines Band Service. HMS President’s stunning backdrop of Tower Bridge made it even more special. 

This successful event has opened a dialogue with the local community to facilitate an exchange of ideas on how to shape a modern, resilient organisation with its people front and centre of paving the way forward. Acting as a blueprint for other Maritime Reserve Units to host engagement events, the aim is to open a dialogue with local communities not just in London but across the UK.