Day of the Seafarer – will you help?

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The Chairman of The Mission to Seafarers has written an open letter to the shipping industry calling on members to support the charity, which has seen its income severely depleted by the COVID-19 crisis.

In the letter Tom Boardley said: “I am writing to you in my capacity as Chairman of The Mission to Seafarers to ask for your help. As I am sure you have read in the media, charities are facing a bleak time as the usual fundraising channels are dramatically affected. It is anticipated that fundraised income could reduce by up to 48%, at the same time as demand for their services is expected to rise by 43%.

On this Day of the Seafarer we are reaching out to you as someone working within the shipping industry to ask if you would consider setting up a personal direct debit to help us continue to do our valuable work? It is a simple process and should not take up much of your time, but it will help us enormously.”

He continues: “The industry is highly dependent upon the well-being of seafarers. Today, there are huge pressures on seafarers, and I have been pleased to see the industry has been taking the mental health of seafarers very seriously indeed.

“Our frontline teams, port chaplains, ship visitors and centre staff are vital components in maintaining seafarers’ mental well-being. A conversation face-to-face, by phone or through social media can transform lives – and even be the difference between life and death.”

Last year, with the support of the UKP&I Club, the Mission launched its WeCare programmes aimed at improving social communications between seafarers and their families. A second programme, WeCare Financial Well-being has also been developed and the charity is currently working on a new programme to provide much-needed training in suicide prevention, he said.

Mr Boardley added: “Our Family Support Service in the Philippines has been incredibly successful and is under huge pressure during the COVID-19 crisis, as seafarers and families seek practical and emotional assistance.

The Mission has also launched a major Digital Chaplaincy service (“Chat to a Chaplain”) responding to seafarers 24/7 worldwide, with the involvement of its nine regions.

For more information on setting up a direct debit to help The Mission to Seafarers, please visit www.missiontoseafarers.org

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