Jeff* was a fisherman for 45 years before a serious illness took him ashore. Thanks to funding from The Seafarers’ Charity, he was able to access financial support to get his family’s finances back on track.

For 45 years Jeff was a fisher based in Scotland. But when a serious long-term illness struck, he was forced to finish his career at sea.

Being unable to work, he and his family were left with a huge financial burden. Jeff was only able to receive small benefit payments and with his partner becoming his full-time carer, providing for their 11-year-old daughter was not easy.

The family were making ends meet on a tight budget until they suddenly needed to replace their fridge and television. With no savings, they bought the items on credit. As they struggled to make the repayments, they approached Seafarers Advice and Information Line (SAIL), who are supported by The Seafarers’ Charity, for financial advice.

SAIL’s adviser reviewed Jeff’s budget, helped him negotiate smaller monthly repayments to creditors and find other ways to reduce his outgoings, such as switching to cheaper broadband, phone and TV providers.

However, an old tax debt arose from a time when Jeff was self-employed. Even with his small income, reduced monthly credit repayments and living costs, the family they continued to have little to no savings for any unexpected expenses.

SAIL continued to explore best options for further support and were able to help Jeff and his family manage their finances. Although finances are still tight, Jeff and his family can avoid having to obtain expensive credit in the future, if sudden expenses arise again.

SAIL is proudly supported by The Seafarers’ Charity. Providing citizens advice to anyone who’s ever worked at sea, they can help with benefits, money worries and much more.

*Name and photograph have been changed to protect the seafarer's identity.

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