April 11, 2024

The Seafarers' Charity's ongoing support for seafaring Veterans

Seafaring Veterans are indispensable to global conflicts. Last year, we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, a vital campaign that spanned the entirety of World War II and saw the loss of countless lives. This year, we shift our focus to D-Day on the 6th of June, a date synonymous with bravery, sacrifice, and the Allied effort to liberate Western Europe from the grip of Nazi tyranny.

This event commemorates the sacrifices made during the D-Day Normandy Landings in 1944, honouring the bravery of seafarers involved in the largest seaborne invasion in history.

As we stand on the cusp of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a momentous occasion in history, at The Seafarers' Charity we remain steadfast in our commitment to honouring the brave men and women who served at sea. This commemoration serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by our veterans, whose courage and resilience shaped the course of history.

In the last two years, The Seafarers' Charity has awarded 34 grants totalling over £1.23 million, benefiting approximately 14,518 former seafarers, including some of whom are veterans, and their families. These grants have made a tangible difference in their lives, addressing their diverse needs and ensuring that they receive the care and assistance they deserve. Let us take a moment to reflect on some of our recent grants:

  • Salute Her UK - £40,000 awarded to support trauma-informed therapy for women seafarers.
  • Merchant Navy Association - £2,000 contributed to the annual Merchant Navy Day Commemorative Service.
  • Nautilus Welfare Fund - £18,926 funding two case worker posts to assist retired seafarers with accessing essential services.
  • Naval Children's Charity - £100,000 provided for services catering to the unique needs of children of Royal Navy personnel.
  • Not Forgotten Association - £8,000 allocated for entertainment and activities for seafaring veterans.
  • The Officers' Association - £39,000 for financial grants and welfare services for Royal Navy officers.
  • Scottish Nautical Welfare Society - £53,000 to support welfare grants and running costs.
  • Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariner's Royal Benevolent Society - £50,000 towards grants for retired mariners.
  • Veterans Outreach Support - £15,000 for mental health support for veterans and their families.
  • Veterans Scotland - £5,000 joint funding of core costs towards support of seafarers in need.
  • Wilson's Mariners' Homes - £30,955 for energy-efficient improvements to seafarers' dwellings.
  • The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel Trust - £1,500 for a commemorative plaque.
  • Hounds for Heroes - £12,500 for training assistance dogs for Merchant Navy veterans.
  • Bravehound - £15,000 for training and support for Royal Navy veterans and their assistance dogs.
  • Seafarers Group Calls, Age UK - £27,000 for supporting the Telephone Friendship Service for retired Seafarers, formerly known as the Silver Line.
  • Cobhair Bharraigh SCIO - £13,085 to support the delivery of services at Cobhair Bharriagh to improve the quality of life for elderly seafarers living with mental, physical or sensory impairment.
  • Fighting with Pride - £30,000 for supporting the work of the UK's only LGBT+ Armed Forces charity which in two years has enabled remarkable change as a champion of a uniquely isolated group of veterans.

Permanent plaque at The Memorial Garden of The Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel in Pangbourne.

The Seafarers' Charity's Chief Executive, Deborah Layde, laying a wreath at the Merchant Navy Memorial during the 2023 Remembrance Sunday service.

Wreaths laid during the Merchant Navy Commemorative Service on Merchant Navy Day in 2022.

Join us in paying tribute to their courage, resilience, and sacrifice this D-Day 80. Together, let's uphold their legacy and ensure that their courage continues to inspire future generations.

Our seafaring veterans deserve more recognition and support.

We believe all veterans deserve recognition and support, whether from the Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, or Merchant Navy. Unfortunately, many face hardships post-service, including financial struggles, physical impairments, and mental health issues. Your donation to our SeaVets Appeal honors their legacy and directly impacts their lives. Every contribution, big or small, brings us closer to supporting our seafaring heroes.

Thanks to a generous donor, all donations up to £10,000 will be match funded – essentially every pound you donate will be doubled.

Support our SeaVets Appeal

Join us in commemorating D-DAY 80 with the Lamp Lights of Peace

On 6 June 2024, The Seafarers’ Charity will join national commemorations for the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France. In memory of seafarers who contributed to the largest seaborne invasion in history, we've awarded £7,200 from the Strategic Impact Spend to sponsor a Ceremonial Torch and Carrying Case, which will be utilised to light the D-Day 80 Principal Beacon at His Majesty’s Naval Base in Portsmouth. To honour the bravery of those who sacrificed on the five Normandy beaches in 1944, sand samples from each beach are embedded in the Ceremonial Torch and in the Principal Beacon, which will be lit at 9.15 pm on D-Day.

You can also participate in this event in your own way by ordering a 'Lamp Light of Peace' from Bruno Peek CVO OBE OPR at £55. The light from the flame symbolises the 'light of peace' that emerged from the darkness of war.

Order a D-Day 80 Lamp Light of Peace