At The Seafarers’ Charity, our vision is to create ‘a world where seafarers and their families are valued and free of need and disadvantage’. We’ve been improving their lives since 1917, when we launched as the King George’s Fund for Sailors (KGFS).

Conceived by far-sighted ship owners and officers, and championed by King George V, the KGFS is a key strand of our DNA and something of which we’re very proud. Today, The Seafarers’ Charity is an evolving, forward-looking charity – building on past successes but expanding our capabilities to make a genuine difference.

Putting funding where it matters

Our grant giving to maritime charities brings truly life-changing impact for many who work – or have worked – at sea, and their families. We reduce hardships experienced by seafarers by enabling environments where, instead, they can thrive, supporting their practical and welfare needs at home, in port and at sea, often far from home. We also enable them to connect with loved ones – and to find comfort and companionship in retirement.

In 2023, The Seafarers’ Charity awarded 67 grants, totalling £2.4m to 50 organisations. More than just money, these funds will transform the lives of thousands of seafarers at home and abroad.

Our long-term outcomes for seafarers

  • Enhanced financial resilience
  • Better working lives at sea
  • Improved health and well-being
  • Safer working lives
  • Increased social justice
Our strategy, vision and mission

We assess every grant and our activity against these goals, continually asking: how can we best deliver a positive impact? What will most effectively help seafarers to thrive and live independent lives? And how can we safeguard their future in a fast-changing world?

Why we exist

We rely on seafarers to transport over 90% of the things we take for granted, including food, fuel and medicines; to catch our fish and protect our shores.

Every day, seafarers are exposed to the hazards of a life at sea: dangerous physical labour, harsh weather, antisocial hours, no guarantee of a stable income, and months of being away from their families. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers have been struggling through extreme working and living conditions without many of the basic rights we enjoy.

We work closely with a number of delivery partners that support seafarers and their families, targeting donations where they will make the biggest difference.

What our grant funding supported

What we're working on

While we’ll continue to provide support for many of our existing delivery partners who provide vital frontline services, we’ll also be working in new ways. We’re moving towards identifying and targeting the systemic problems that lead to adversity in the first place. We’re aiming to get to the heart of issues earlier to achieve longer-term success through outcomes-focused funding collaboration, research and advocacy – which in turn will amplify the impact of our grant awards.

Grants awarded

See the organisations we supported 2020 to 2022.

Our influence

In addition to grant funding, we use research, advocacy and collaboration to support seafarers at sea and ashore.

Our impact

In a typical year, we award more than £2m in grants to support many maritime welfare charities.

We rely on your support

We rely on donations, fundraising and gifts in wills to be able to provide long-term aid.

Support our work

You may also like

Our history

We started as King George's Fund for Sailors in 1917. Learn more about our history of providing essential support for the maritime community.

Read more


Whether it is a charity run, a bake or a virtual challenge, your support will make an incredible difference to seafarers in need.

Get involved