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Charity Seafarers UK publishes its manifesto

Seafarers UK, the charity for those who work at sea, has been championing seafarers since 1917 when it was formed during the First World War as King George’s Fund for Sailors.

A new ten-point manifesto sets out the charity’s commitment for seafarers’ safety and welfare before, during and after their seafaring careers.

Said Seafarers UK CEO Catherine Spencer:

“This manifesto sets out our aspirations for seafarers, the hidden heroes of maritime. It is not aligned to any political party, but summarises what we are working on and what we want the maritime industry to consider, putting seafarers at the heart of decision making.

“We welcome feedback from across the sector and look forwards to working with more partners, with the common goal of ensuring seafarers and their families are able to live their best lives.”

In partnership with others, Seafarers UK will use its grant funding, encourage further collaboration and advocate on behalf of seafarers.

Seafarers UK’s asks that seafarers can:

  1. Be kept safe and return from their seafaring voyages without experiencing accident or harm
  2. Be supported to train and develop careers working at sea
  3. Take care of their families and dependants during long periods away from home
  4. Feel less lonely or isolated when working at sea, through maintaining connections with family and friends ashore, as well as having access to on board initiatives
  5. Access free, high quality welfare services, which respond to seafarers and their families’ needs with respect and dignity and engage their views on the design and development of services
  6. Access independent advice, information and support via their preferred delivery channels such as face-to-face, telephone, web chat, digital tools, social media or self-help literature
  7. Be provided with regular welfare breaks in respect of hours of work, shore leave, length of journey, etc. in order to reduce fatigue and to maintain their health and wellbeing
  8. Thrive and have their uniqueness respected within a culturally diverse working environment without fear of bullying or harassment. This includes equality of opportunity and respecting language, food, religion, and behavioural differences
  9. Transition from sea to shore. This includes supporting the provision of short-term accommodation and other welfare and support services aimed at adjusting from working at sea
  10. Obtain dignity in retirement through access to financial security, appropriate accommodation and a network of support from maritime welfare charities.

Seafarers UK is a leading grant funder of charitable services supporting the safety and welfare needs of seafarers and their families. Every year over £2m is awarded in grant funding (£2.2m in 2019) to a range of different partners delivering services to support seafarers and their families when in stormy seas.

Through providing grant funding to organisations, Seafarers UK achieves its Royal Charter objects to support:

  • The relief of seafarers, their families or dependents, who are in need
  • The education and training of people of any age to prepare for work or service at sea
  • The promotion of the efficiency and effectiveness of the maritime charitable sector
  • The promotion of safety at sea.

Media contact

Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK – 020 7932 5969 / 07910 593588 /

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