Supporting the provision of quality welfare for seafarers and their dependants

Projects

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.

Click here to view our Project Archive

MNWB projects are run by a small team of experienced, qualified professionals utilising PRINCE2 methodology. Current projects are as follows:

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. 

International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) Programme

The initial pilot project aimed 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 across the world. Consequently, the pilot project also identified and assessed the operational effectiveness of existing welfare boards, helped establish minimum standards and promoted best practice.

The pilot project began with the launch of its website on Wednesday 4th February 2015 and ran for an initial 12 months, during which time 10 new welfare boards were set up across the globe. Following this success and a review of how best to fund the programme going forward, a further 3 year programme was launched in March 2017 to expand of the successful results achieved in the pilot project.

The IPWP programme is managed by the MNWB on behalf of the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) with funding from the MNWB, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, TK Foundation and The Seafarers' Charity.

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 vehicle replacement project which started in 2008, has MNWB, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, The Seafarers' Charity 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 programme helps replace minibuses, MPVs and cars that remain essential to the provision of welfare services to our seafarers.

Port Levy Project

The Tyne Port Authority has worked in partnership with the Board and the Tyne Area PWC to establish a partnership port levy scheme. The scheme, entitled the Port of Tyne (PoT) welfare fund began raising funds in 2016 and was formally launched in September 2017. Whilst there are already numerous successful schemes working in other ports, the MNWB considers the levy to be an excellent example of a modern partnership scheme between shipowners, ports and welfare providers to support and improve seafarers’ welfare in port. Information on the PoT welfare fund and its MoU, which could be used as a template for other ports that do not benefit from an existing levy scheme, can be provided by the PWC Manager.

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