“It’s free and fun, just like chatting in the mess, and you can do it from the comfort of your home.”
Seafarers Link is celebrating its tenth anniversary with an ambitious target of creating an additional 10 telephone friendship groups for former Seafarers and dependants.
The project hosts free conference calls for former seafarers and their families in a partnership between Community Network and both SFUK and MN Fund. It was devised in response to recommendations in a major report on Seafarers welfare, Supporting Seafarers and Their Families: The Challenges for the Future, commissioned by Maritime Charities Group in 2007.
Seafarers Link promotes social inclusion across retired Seafarers and their families. Stories are shared, friendships sustained and fun is had during fortnightly telephone links that members join at a set time from the comfort of their own homes.
“Since we started in 2007 we’ve connected over 10,000 calls and developed 17 groups,” explains Chris Rankin, MBE, MNM, Project Manager, “our trained volunteers host telephone chats with up to six members participating in each call. Members come from across the Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Merchant Navy and more recently groups for wives/widows and WRNS groups have started. Up to 6 people take part in each chat – do consider being involved or recommending a family member who has a seafaring connection. If you want we can explore with you setting up a specific ‘Ship’ group including people who you sailed with or when you were shore based but now live in different parts of the country. Calls are free, very flexible and we can design a friendship group to your specific requirements.”
To try out or to join a group at time convenient to you contact Chris on 020 7923 5250 or 01752 812674 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org