Maritime welfare charities are pulling together to publicise the support available to seafarers who have been made redundant, including ex P&O Ferries staff.
The Maritime Charities Group Redundancy and Retraining Bursary provides help towards the cost of training to stay in maritime while The Seafarers’ Charity’s UK Maritime Anchor Fund provides financial help, relationship counselling and mental health and wellbeing support. Taken together this package of measures is helping seafarers who are out of work and experiencing hardship to get back on their feet and into employment.
Between them the charities have helped 138 seafarers so far to the tune of over £66,000.
Speaking about the two initiatives, Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN, Chairman of MCG, said:
“Both these initiatives have been a real success. Together we have enabled so many seafarers who have lost work, including those made redundant by P&O Ferries, to get back on their feet. This is an excellent example of what the maritime welfare charity sector can do when it pulls together. We are extremely proud of the way we have collaborated to support seafarers at this difficult time and hope to see more joint working across the sector in the future.”
The MCG fund was set up in November 2020 in response to the growing number of seafarers losing work due to Covid-19. It has now helped over 100 seafarers. The fund is backed by MCG members the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) and Trinity House, with additional support from the Nautilus Slater Fund, and is administered by the Marine Society on their behalf.
It provides up to £500 for training and refresher courses to UK-based seafarers who have lost work during the Pandemic and was due to close at the end of March this year but stayed open to meet growing demand.
The UK Maritime Anchor Fund was created in 2020 to provide an end-to-end package of support for seafarers experiencing financial hardship due to loss of work or disruption of employment. The fund aims to address financial difficulties and their impact by providing support from Citizens Advice - experts in debt and money management, Relate – experts in personal relationships, and Togetherall – experts in mental health.
To find out more about the MCG Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund, click here