UK Port Welfare MiFi Partnership Project
In July 2021 The Department for Transport, Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) and The Seafarers' Charity agreed to fund a second year of a collaborative UK Port Welfare MiFi Partnership Project for seafarers and fishers.
The project, which
started in 2019
, is managed by the MNWB and aims to provide seafarers on ships visiting UK ports with access to free internet to connect with their families and friends. In turn, ultimately helping to improve port-based welfare services and, seafarers’ welfare particularly during Covid19. While the MiFi pilot project was due to finish in May 2020, the ITF Seafarers' Trust first agreed to extend the project by a further 3 months to help during the Covid-19 pandemic. Then in July 2020 the Department for Transport, MNWB and The Seafarers' Charity agreed to the project's first extension.
In total, 40 MiFi units have been deployed throughout the UK to seven Maritime Welfare Charities (MWCs). Unlike last year, where a monthly data allowance of either 50 or 60GB was assigned to the units, this year the allowance of all the connections is to be increased to unlimited – meaning crew can download and stream without exceeding the monthly allowance.
MNWB is proud to coordinate this worthwhile partnership initiative and will continue to work in partnership with all the participating MWCs who provide welfare visits to ships arriving in UK ports. In total there are 60 MiFi units deployed throughout the UK to the following MWCs:
Aberdeen Seafarers’ Centre, Fishermen’s Mission, Liverpool Seafarers’ Centre, Mission to Seafarers, Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest and Sailors’ Society.