An emergency grant of £29,500 was awarded to the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest (QVSR) to support its Seafarers’ Centre in Tilbury, providing essential frontline support to seafarers arriving at this busy port.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown caused major disruption to the services QVSR provides, and due to the social distancing measures, the Seafarers’ Centre had to close most of its facilities. Many seafarers were also stranded on board ships without food and money and were unable to travel home.

During the coronavirus lockdown, the Centre’s chaplain, Mark Moeller, was the only person who was able to visit seafarers on board ships to provide essential supplies and welfare services, including toiletries, free pre-paid SIM cards to enable seafarers to contact their families at home, as well as halal food to those wishing to observe Ramadan.

One of the seafarers supported by the Centre, was Glen. After an accident on board the ship, Glen had to remain in the UK to recover from his injuries. QVSR was able to provide him with accommodation and food and assist with medical appointments, and after five weeks of recovery, Glen was able to fly back home to the Philippines.

‘We are indebted to The Seafarers’ Charity who have responded to our needs and provided us with an emergency grant. This has alleviated our concerns and allowed us to concentrate on looking after our retired and port-based seafarers whilst we battle against this horrible virus.’

– Debbie Whitehead, Operations Manager, QVSR

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