Greenwich Hospital is a unique Crown Royal Navy Charity founded by the Royal Charter of William and Mary in 1694, to support retired, wounded, and needy Royal Navy personnel and their widows and to educate their children. It occupied what is now the Old Royal Naval College site in Greenwich from 1702 to 1869.
Today the charity supports all serving and former serving personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their families through benevolence, grants, education, housing, employability, financial resilience, health, and well-being, and much more. In 2020-2021, Greenwich Hospital spent over £5m on charity projects and has supported many tens of thousands of beneficiaries over the three-year period from 2018-2021.Greenwich Hospital promotes initiatives which assist veterans in charitable need as well as those which will help to set serving personnel on a secure and stable path throughout both their service and subsequent civilian careers.
To support its charitable objectives the Hospital seeks to maximise the return on its investments (quoted investments and property portfolio in Greenwich, Northumberland, and Suffolk, whose total value is c. £400m) to provide the funds to meet its long-term commitments. These include regular charitable payments and grants, both direct and through other naval and service charities; bursaries for the education of eligible seafaring children at the Royal Hospital School which is part of Greenwich Hospital (founded in Greenwich in 1712 and later moved to Holbrook, near Ipswich); and sheltered housing for elderly seafarers and their spouses in Greenwich, Portsmouth and Plymouth.
The Hospital is working with the Royal Navy towards a transformation of its governance and charitable output so as to best meet the increasingly complex needs of both serving and retired seafarers. To this end, it is looking at the strategic aims of increasing cooperative support to naval charity and exploring its future governance relationship with the Royal Hospital School.