The Seafarers’ Charity introduces a new fundraising appeal in support of the Merchant Navy Fund as part of its annual Fly the Red Ensign Campaign. 

The Seafarers’ Charity’s Fly the Red Ensign Campaign is an annual campaign to celebrate our dependence on merchant seafarers who are responsible for safely shipping more than 90% of the UK’s imports. Each year thousands of locations across the UK hoist the Red Ensign in recognition of current UK Merchant seafarers, and to honour the brave Merchant Navy personnel who served during the First and Second World Wars.

This year, recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on Merchant Navy communities, and many continue to need urgent support, the Charity is asking people and public buildings to Fly the Red Ensign on Merchant Navy Day, 3rd September to remember the sacrifices of the often forgotten and invisible Merchant Navy community and donate to raise vital funds to help respond to the increased need for support.

The Merchant Navy Fund is a joint fund created by The Seafarers’ Charity and The Merchant Navy Welfare Board. President of The Seafarers’ Charity HRH The Earl of Wessex GCVO said, ‘On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign by The Seafarers’ Charity to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage, and support the future of the personnel of our Merchant Navy’. 

Catherine Spencer, Chief Executive of The Seafarers’ Charity said,

‘Merchant Navy Day is such a special day to recognise the incredibly important role of our seafarers. This year, as the impact of COVID-19 hits supply lines the public are even much more familiar with how vital shipping is to keep shelves stocked. Our Merchant Navy have operated through the chaos of the pandemic to keep supplies moving, building on the long and proud history of supporting the nation in times of need, just as they did during World War One and Two. We hope you will join with us in Flying the Red Ensign to support seafarers and that you will consider donating to the Merchant Navy Fund.’ 

The Charity has provided a guide to making the most of the day:

1. Fly the Red Ensign 
If you’re flying a Red Ensign on 3 September, don’t forget to take a photo! You can email it to us to or share on Social Media, tagging us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn or Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MerchantNavyDay. If you haven’t already registered for the campaign, please register today to let us know you are taking part and to receive a certificate of participation in the Autumn.

2. Make a donation 
This Merchant Navy Day, we are asking to help us give Merchant Navy seafarers and their families somewhere to turn for support at time of crisis. Read Samuel’s story to see how your support, and the support of your organisation, will make a real difference to Merchant Navy seafarers. This Merchant Navy Day, please give your thanks and support to those UK seafarers who need our help. Make a donation today.

3. Promote your activities 
Download our toolkit which includes information on how to promote the campaign locally or online, as well as Social Media visuals and copy to use across your  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram accounts to help promote the campaign. Download your Social Media Resources.

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