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Sailors' Society launches COVID-19 resources and appeal

Coronavirus SS

Maritime welfare charity Sailors' Society, which is supported by WesCom Signal & Rescue, has launched a suite of practical resources to help seafarers during the coronavirus crisis.

Sailors’ Society is offering advice, contacts and podcasts for mariners around the world and their families affected by COVID-19.

It has also set up an appeal to fund urgent support for the “key workers of the sea.”

In the past few days, seafarers from all over the world have joined a special Facebook group set up by the charity to share news, tips and words of encouragement.

Shipping companies have also contacted Sailors' Society, known for its award-winning wellness at sea programme, asking for help in supporting crews through the pandemic.

Chief Operating Officer and director of programme, Sandra Welch, says, "We may not be able to greet seafarers in port right now, but we are here for them and their families as we always have been.

“Seafarers are deeply worried like everyone else and far from home and loved ones; many do not now know when or how they will get home again.

“While the rest of us struggle with suddenly only being able to see our family and friends on a video call, this is the reality for seafarers every day. And images of empty supermarket shelves are a stark reminder of how vital these men and women are to our supply chains, bringing almost everything we need by sea.”

Seafarers need support now more than ever, Sandra says. “Please share our resources with crews, partner with us to support seafarers through these turbulent months or give to our appeal enabling us to divert the full resources of the charity to help seafarers who are under immense mental and emotional strain, sick or, with many ports on lockdown, unsure when they will next work. 

"We all rely on seafarers. Now, more than ever, they rely on us."

Two weeks ago, the charity announced it has rolled out virtual chaplaincy to seafarers, with chaplains available to seafarers over the phone or on social media, after it had to suspend port activity in response to the virus.

The resources are at www.sailors-society.org/coronavirus. To donate, visit www.sailors-society.org/coronavirusgive

Sailors’ Society has been bringing people together for more than 200 years, transforming the lives of seafarers and their families at home, in port and at sea through the delivery of chaplaincy, education and the relief of poverty and distress. 

The charity works internationally to provide practical, emotional and spiritual welfare support to the world’s 1.6million seafarers, regardless of background or faith. Sailors’ Society chaplains and ship visitors have a presence in more than 90 global ports, with wider projects and services covering 30 countries. 

Apr 21, 2020