The Board creates, operates and administers numerous projects to benefit seafarers’ welfare. In doing so it helps its Constituent Member organisations provide important welfare services, promotes the work of its Port Welfare Committees and provides welfare services itself.

MNWB projects are run by a small team of experienced, qualified professionals utilising PRINCE2 methodology. Examples of current and past (*) projects, some of which have also been operated/replicated on the international stage, are as follows:
Seafarers’ Homes Digital Inclusion Project

Funded by the Merchant Navy Fund this project addresses the issues of retired seafarers and sometimes their families’ access to and knowledge of Information Technology. Working in partnership with Sir Gabriel Woods Mariners Home, Mariners Park and Care Ashore the Board has provided a combination of hardware (laptops and tablets), software (bespoke beginner’s operating system), limited Wi-Fi provision and training over a period of 18 months.

Watch Ashore Project

The Watch Ashore is the wives and partners organisation for the MN. Although primarily a social organisation the Watch Ashore is extremely keen to increase its membership in order to reach more potential members whose loved ones may need support when their loved ones are serving away at sea.  To that end, with the financial support of the MN Fund and Seafarers UK, the Watch Ashore is working with MNWB on a collaborative project to attract new members by embracing social media, upgrading their website and become more involved with the voluntary welfare organisations. A small number of Watch Ashore members have already been issued with tablet computers and have voluntarily attended a joint social media, IT and welfare ‘signposting’ course with more members to follow.  The project aims to provide the Watch Ashore with the tools and training to raise its profile and improve its outreach in order to increase its  membership and continue to help the maritime charity sectorby referring those who may need welfare support.
Port Levy Project

The Board has established a project working group consisting of representatives from Apostleship of the Sea, Mission to Seafarers, Sailors’ Society and Fishermen’s Mission. The project aims to encourage ports to adopt a port levy scheme that will both support and improve seafarers’ welfare in ports.  Where they exist port levies provide an essential stream of funding to enhance and sustain port welfare services.  The project began with extensive research into existing levy and donation schemes in place around the country with a view to identifying and promoting best practice and, where appropriate, approaching port authorities for assistance.  The working group plans to produce draft, universal documentation for new port levies in 2015.
International Ports Welfare Partnership Project (ISWAN)

The project aims to bring together key representatives of the maritime community with a view to developing and sustaining a ‘single point of contact’ or central hub” dedicated to the establishment, guidance and support of welfare boards around the world. Consequently, the pilot project will identify and assess the operational effectiveness of existing welfare boards, help establish minimum standards and promote best practice. The pilot project also aims to establish a limited number of new welfare boards in different countries and, in accordance with MLC 2006, encourage sustainable financial support from the industry via local port welfare levies and donations.  The project will, simultaneously, seek to secure additional funding in order to extend the provision of welfare boards on an international basis over the longer term.  The pilot project began with the launch of its website on Wednesday 4th February 2015.
UK Port WelfareStudy

The Board maintains a bespoke database which captures data on all aspects of seafarers’ welfare provision across UK ports.  The information is gathered by consultation at PWC meetings and enables those providing port based welfare to review the level of welfare need against available resources at port level. The next stage of the project revolves around making the database both remotely updateable and available to the numerous port authorities, society head offices and port chaplains. To this end, MNWB has made a successful grant application to the government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership and will be working closely with Southampton Solent University to create an interactive, web based database that will make information readily available to the maritime community.
Seafarers’ Port Information Leaflets

 In 2005, following an initial request by a member at a Port Welfare Committee meeting, the Board designed and produced a professionally formatted leaflet specifically for visiting seafarers. Since then, the Board has printed leaflets for over 32 ports around the UK, including many reprints. The leaflet and design has also been replicated in international ports such as Mombasa. Leaflets are widely distributed via Pilots, Port Chaplains, Ship Welfare Visitors, Port Security Gate Staff and are also available for download from a variety of websites including The Board continues to produce new and updated leaflets in collaboration with its Port Welfare Committees.

Click here to view the Port Information Leaflets
Seafarer Support

In a funding partnership with ITF Seafarers’ Trust, Seafarers’ UK and the RN&RM Charity, the Board operates the Seafarer Support welfare referral service for the entire maritime charity sector (Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and fishing fleet). The combined website, helpline and online search engine service provided by Seafarer Support directs and where appropriate, transfers enquirers to welfare organisations best suited to help. MNWB trained staff welcome enquiries via telephone on a Freephone number 0800 121 4765 or via the website The online search facility called the ‘Maritime Charities Welfare Guide’ is embedded into the Seafarer Support website. The Board is currently carrying out minor upgrades to the website and is actively and strategically engaging with social media to improve outreach.
Vehicle Replacement Programme

 The maritime funding charities recognise the importance of Seafarers’ Centres and Port Chaplains having access to safe and reliable vehicles in order to deliver much needed port welfare services. As a result the now annual replacement project has entered its 7th year with the Board, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, Seafarers UK and Trinity House jointly contributing substantial grants to help voluntary organisations purchase new vehicles. The project enables welfare personnel to undertake ship and home visits as well as transporting seafarers in and around the ports. The partnership project helps replace Minibuses, MPVs and cars that remain essential to the provision of welfare services.

The Board has also worked collaboratively with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) on their Seafarer’s Health Information Programme (SHIP) to produce the below publications:

Food Safety
Fit on Board
Safe Travel
Healthy Food
Mental Care
Dental Care
Skin Care

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