Cash for stricken seafarers available

Seafarers-earning-deduction

New fund helps crisis-hit maritime sector 

8th July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A national maritime charity has launched a £1M fund to provide financial support to UK merchant seafarers and fishers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, has launched to coincide with Seafarers Awareness Week (6-12 July) and will provide support to working age seafarers facing the economic impact of the pandemic.

The new fund signifies a temporary change in spending priorities to reflect the disastrous financial impact on working mariners and represents the biggest uplift in Society spending since WWII.

The charity is dependant on income from investments to continue its long-term work but is clear that the current crisis demanded a re-assessment of the balance between existing and future need, reflecting both the significant welfare impact of the crisis, but also recognising the UK’s high dependency on maritime trade and its maritime workforce for future prosperity.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chairman, Capt. Nigel Palmer OBE MNM, said: “The trustees of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society have released £1 million of new funds in recognition of the disastrous effect of COVID 19 on working seafarers in the UK.

“The financial impact of this pandemic will be with us for years to come, and we have already spent significant funds helping hard pressed families keep food on the table and ensure the lights stay on. Our next major challenge will be supporting those who are unable to manage the inevitable debts which will build up during the crisis, in particular helping to ensure families keep a roof over their heads as mortgage and rent holidays come to an end.”

The Society’s Chief Executive, Capt. Justin Osmond RN, added: “This is an important extension of our normal work, but recognises the massive financial challenges facing UK seafarers, including those who are temporarily unable to work, those trapped on ships around the world and unable to get home, or those facing the prospect of redundancy.

“The Society has been supporting seafarers for 181 years and has a proud tradition of responding to changing needs. The scale of this crisis has resulted in an important decision to dig deep, which will ensure much needed support is available to individuals whose contribution is often overlooked by UK society”.

For further information visit the Society’s website at https://shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/ or contact the charity’s Grants Team by emailing grants@shipwreckedmariners.org.uk or calling 01243 787761.