Victorious' crew bring a little joy and colour to Helensburgh school

Submariners from HMS Victorious got stuck into some carpentry in the grounds of Helensburgh's Parklands School during a week-long's toil to help youngsters.

Having recently completed a patrol - the 36th by the V-boat since she joined the Silent Service 22 years ago - her crew were keen to hand over the fruits of their fund-raising efforts to one of their favourite good causes.

With 107 professional examinations boards during the submarine's three months under the waves - including 23 crew earning their dolphins - as well as the 'day job' of a deterrent patrol, there wasn't too much free time.

But an 'escape committee' aboard organised activities to ensure the 158 men and women aboard could relax and unwind on occasions, organising bingo nights, raffles and quizzes and a biggest loser competition (hampered by the top scran the four chefs served up four times daily… but assisted by a slew of new pieces of gym kit: new running, rowing and cycling machines, and a 24-hour bike ride led by WO1(MEMSM) Duncan Maclennan).

By the time Victorious returned to her Faslane, the deeps had raised £2,000 for various affiliated charities, £600 of which was allocated to Parklands and handed over in person by WO1 Maclennan and some of his shipmates.

This is the third year that Victorious has raised money for Parklands and further strengthened relationship with the very special boys and girls

Warrant Officer 1 Duncan Maclennan, HMS Victorious

"This is the third year that Victorious has raised money for Parklands and further strengthened relationship with the very special boys and girls," said Duncan.

"My daughter is a full-time student there and I am very aware how expensive and difficult it can be to ensure they get the same opportunities and fulfilment from youth that all children require and deserve."

With the help of ground works equipment from Faslane and donations of paints and materials from the B&M Store in Dumbarton, volunteers from Victorious spent a week doing hard graft around Parklands: tidying up the sensory garden, building outdoor furniture for the children and reinvigorating the playground with a good coat of colourful paint.

Efforts on behalf of Parklands don't end there. In August, Duncan, his wife Fiona and ten-year-old daughter Corrin will join three shipmates in the Highlands for the Great Wilderness Challenge; the sailors will tackle a 25-mile mountain run, Fiona a 13-mile trek and Corrin will enjoy a three-mile limited-mobility walk. All donations to this effort can be made via www.gwc2017.everydayhero.com/uk/ally.