The Seafarers’ Charity supports a fair future for seafarers through its comprehensive grant funding of a range of maritime welfare services, which support seafarers experiencing hardship. One of their newest Trustees, Nusrat Ghani MP, former shipping minister joins with them to emphasise why there is a need to support seafarers.
‘We rely on seafarers for all our industries as well as stocking our supermarket shelves. Yet the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude towards the welfare of seafarers that most businesses and world leaders seem to have adopted will become difficult to maintain when supply chains that bring food, medicine and our online shopping direct to our doors – begin to shut down.’
She goes on to say,
‘Which is why we need to support Seafarers who work in some of the world’s toughest conditions and during Covid working nonstop for nearly 2 years. Seafarers often feel isolated, and often lack the resources for food, accommodation or health services at sea and it’s no different when they are no longer serving at sea. It is vital that we support our seafarers, especially during this unprecedented time.’
Catherine Spencer, Chief Executive of The Seafarers’ Charity said
‘‘The fair future for seafarers’ theme of this year’s IMO Day of the Seafarer echoes our new strategy, Thrive. As an outcomes focused funder, we are committed to supporting better working lives for seafarers. Our five strategic outcomes ensure that seafarers have access to welfare services now, and while we are working towards a better and fairer future through innovative pro-active solutions including grants, advocacy and research.’
Each year The Seafarers’ Charity provides over £2m in grant funding to support welfare services for seafarers. Grant funded welfare services include:
• supporting the Mission to Seafarers’ crucial work to respond to abandonment and human rights cases in United Arab Emirates as part of their Advocacy and Social Justice work.
• empowering seafarers through its grant award to ISWAN, which gives advice about employment contracts and working conditions – including information on rest breaks and workplace relationships.
• supporting CHIRP, Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme which contributes to the enhancement of UK and maritime safety worldwide, by providing a totally independent confidential (not anonymous) reporting system for all who work at sea.
• developing capacity of Stella Maris’ welfare services in South Africa enabling work to continue supporting seafarers and fishers in the ports of Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Richards Bay through the local port chaplains and ship and hospital visitors.
The Seafarers’ Charity uses its expertise and wide range of long-established partnerships to enable the delivery of welfare support at all stages of the seafarers’ life voyage. In response to the pandemic, it released an additional £2MIL in funding to support the maritime welfare sector to adapt and respond to new needs of seafarers arising from the crisis. It is currently managing the Seafarers International Relief Fund, supporting humanitarian relief for seafarers affected by COVID-19 in India.
Among 50 charities and not for profit organisations who received grant awards are The Mission to Seafarers, Stella Maris, Sailors’ Society, Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line and ISWAN. The Seafarers’ Charity is the stalwart of the maritime charity sector ensuring maritime welfare charities have the core funding to provide welfare support including advocacy, advice and emotional and practical help to seafarers in vulnerable situations.