December 20, 2023

Maritime welfare charities form a unique collaboration to raise awareness

Praise has been given to The Seafarers’ Charity alongside three other maritime charities, who, through their unique collaboration, have been able to highlight the key importance of seafarer wellbeing in a sustainable, safe and diverse maritime future.

Sailors’ Society, Stella Maris, The Mission to Seafarers and The Seafarers’ Charity work collectively during London International Shipping Week. This year they hosted a major industry conference, attended by top industry leaders, that raised awareness around crew wellness and the welfare issues seafarers face.

Gemma Griffin, Vice-President of Human Resources and Crewing at DFDS, who chaired the Conference, said that the event had brought together 'a committed group of maritime industry leaders who care about their seafarers'.

She said the charities not only highlighted key welfare issues but were also always there for seafarers helping them through difficult times whenever and wherever they were needed.

'Seafarer welfare is, of course, their employers' responsibility. But troubled seafarers will often turn to the friendship and practical support offered on board, onshore or remotely by maritime charities.

It is our industry’s responsibility to support these organisations so they are enabled to continue in these difficult financial times', she said.

LISW23 was organised by Shipping Innovation together with the Department for Transport, British Ports Association, Baltic Exchange, Maritime London, Maritime UK, The Society of Maritime Industries, UK Chamber of Shipping and UK Major Ports Group.

Sean Moloney, Managing Director of Elaborate Communications, which was part of the team that produced the bi-annual event said:

'The organisers of LISW23 were delighted to work once again with our four maritime charity partners in raising both funds and awareness for the work they do to support the world's seafarers. Their increasingly collaborative and coordinated efforts can only add benefit to the whole of the shipping industry.'

In a joint statement, Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, Chief Executive Officer of Stella Maris, Tim Hill MBE, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, The Revd Canon Andrew Wright and Chief Executive of The Seafarers’ Charity, Deborah Layde, said:

'Seafaring can be tough. This is why the world's seafarers deserve decent working conditions and support for their welfare. Many shipping companies recognise this, but when they don't, maritime welfare charities are often relied upon to step in and pick up the pieces. Everyone has a role to play and the least we can do is ensure that seafarers are aware of the range of welfare support that is available to them. Through collaborating as maritime charities with ship owners and managers, P&I Clubs, flag states, legal firms and supra-national bodies we can ensure that the welfare and wellbeing of all seafarers and fishers remains in sharp focus. Working together with the wider industry, we can provide the world’s 1.9 million seafarers and their families with the support and empowerment they need.

With many hundreds of years of experience between us, we also recognise that there is a need for change. New internet services will enable seafarers to access welfare support not just in port, but at home and at sea too. We also recognise that more needs to be done to support not only the recruitment, but the retention, of women who choose a career at sea. Research has proven time and again that they have different welfare needs. and just because they are in a minority does not mean these needs should be ignored.'

Panellist, Helen Tveitan, CEO Carisbrooke Shipping Holdings Ltd, added:

'I was privileged to be part of the panel at The Seafarers' Charity for the LISW23 Charities Conference this year and participate in a conversation on how to tackle the problems and difficulties that our seafaring community encounters. The seafarers’ charities are making a vital contribution to assist our industry’s essential workers worldwide and have our full support in their important work.'

You can still donate to support the work of all four charities using the button below.