MERCHANT NAVY WELFARE BOARD LAUNCH UK MIFI PARTNERSHIP PROJECT PHOTO COMPETITION
The Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) is pleased to announce the launch of a photo competition to help showcase the Maritime Welfare Charities’ (MWC) valuable work and the positive impact connectivity has on seafarers’ well-being, particularly at Christmas.
Throughout December, Port Chaplains and Ship Welfare Visitors are being encouraged to submit and share on social media images that capture the joy of crew connecting with loved ones at Christmas using the MiFi units. MNWB CEO Peter Tomlin said, “The importance of the MiFi project cannot be underestimated. It has enabled the MWC’s to offer seafarers and fishers much needed access to Wi-Fi for free in the most challenging of times”.
Funded by the Department for Transport, The Seafarers’ Charity and MNWB, the valuable collaborative initiative has continued to provide a lifeline for seafarers and fishers, particularly during the pandemic. The project, which started in 2019 as a pilot project funded by ITF Seafarers' Trust, is managed by MNWB and supports the work of front-line welfare societies, providing seafarers and fishers in ports around the UK with access to free internet to connect with their families and friends.
Deborah Layde, Impact Director at The Seafarers’ Charity recognises that loneliness and isolation can be integral to the unique package of rewards and challenges of the profession. She said, “The MiFi project is a vital tool of seafarer support for the many Ship Welfare Visitors or seafarers’ centre workers. Please do promote the MiFi photo competition to support seafarers!”.
The value of the MiFi units, especially at Christmas when many seafarers will be missing their families, was highlighted by the Mission to Seafarers who are one of seven MWCs who participate in the project. Their Regional Director Europe, Reverend Ijeoma Ajibade, said, “The pandemic has worsened the isolation, loneliness and difficulty experienced by seafarers. At this time of limited shore leave and fear of Covid, the MiFi project is extending a lifeline to seafarers by enabling them to access free Wi-Fi from their ships”.
Peter Tomlin concludes, “We can’t wait to see the images that are submitted which will go some way to help highlight the MWCs’ fantastic work and the importance of crew connectivity”.