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New Chairman for MNWB (added 05/07/18)

MNWB is delighted to announce the appointment of Captain Andrew Cassels as our new Chairman following the retirement of our long standing Chairman of eight years Robert Jones.

Having joined BP in 1975 where he served at sea for 14 years in ranks up to Master on BP oil tankers, Andrew has enjoyed a broad range of roles across BP Shipping and BP Exploration. His key responsibilities have been within the two main operational areas of BP Shipping; Marine Assurance and Fleet Operations.

In 2015, Andrew was seconded to the Managing Director of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum which he held until shortly before his retirement in July 2018. Andrew previously held directorships at East Asia Response Ltd (EARL) and the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS), he was Managing Director of the BP ShipCare vessel lay-up service, Member of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), a Council Member of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and on the Board of the Green Awards.

In his spare time Andrew enjoys walking his English Bull Terrier, gardening, cycling and walking. Other notable achievements include the Prudential London 100 charity cycle ride in 2016 and 2017, and he is now training for the 2018 ride in July raising funds for Seafarers UK.

MNWB holds UK’s first Seafarers’ Centre Conference in Southampton (added 04/05/18)

Seafarers’ centres play a key role in the provision of ‘front line’ seafarers’ welfare services in many UK ports. Although these facilities fulfil the same overall function of supporting seafarers/fishermen and are all called ‘centres’, each one is unique, much like the ports they are located in. Our UK centres come in all different shapes and sizes; some are manned, some are unmanned and some are both, enabling them to provide a 24/7 service that meets local needs. Most centres depend on local committees/volunteers and transport to operate effectively; the majority are autonomous and a number are registered charities in their own right. It is important that centres are operated and managed locally, and have good governance in place. As a result of recent MNWB work with the societies on a number of seafarers’ centres, it was clear that the vast majority of centres were experiencing difficulties raising the funds necessary to cover their basic operating costs and needed support of some kind. Indeed, some centres were struggling to survive.

The Board was keen to support seafarers centres where needed. We emphasize the word ‘support’ because it can come in many different forms and from many different organisations. The Board, as an umbrella charity, is all about collaboration and, as such, wanted to create an environment where centre managers/trustees could share best practice and network, something which has not happened in the past. To that end the Board held its first very successful Seafarers’ Centre Conference in Southampton this week. It was well attended with representatives from over 25 seafarers’ centres from across the UK, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, in addition to staff from the main seafarers’ welfare societies. There were some excellent presentations from a variety of centres highlighting what they do well to what they could do better. There were also a number of workshops facilitated by Solent University in which delegates discussed issues, best practice and the way forward. A full report will be available in due course.  



Sharon Coveney, MNWB Deputy CEO and Katherine Lockwood, MNWB Port Welfare Committee Manager were at the ILO Headquaters in Geneva to promote the   International Port Welfare Partnership Programme  
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