Multimillion pound grant scheme to revolutionise maritime sector

Welfare charity launches multimillion pound grant scheme for maritime sector

A new multimillion pound grant scheme that will revolutionise the maritime sector has been launched by a leading welfare charity.

More than £2m is available in the grant pot, issued by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB), which is available for maritime charities and organisations looking to run projects in the following areas:

– Career, skills & diversity: plugging skill gaps, broadening the pool of talent and providing equal opportunities for seafarers, and fostering creativity.
– People: Research and support for programmes to alleviate seafarer mental health and wellbeing issues.

Stuart Rivers, Chief Executive Officer of the MNWB which supports and promotes co-operation between organisations that provide welfare services to seafarers, fishermen and their dependants, said:

“There’s no escaping how recent crises, including the pandemic, war on Ukraine and P&O Ferries’ situation, have taken their toll on seafarers across the world. To be frank, they’ve endured an insufferable time. Welfare charities working on the front line have also been under pressure to respond to these crises.

“But, as we start to rebuild, this new fund offers an opportunity for maritime charities far and wide to relish and will help support the recovery of the maritime sector. Unrealised plans to kickstart a project that improves the mental health or wellbeing of seafarers or those looking to bridge the gender gap, can now become a reality.”

“We want to hear your ideas and plans so we strongly urge you to come forward and start applying. Ultimately, over time, we want to see a range of projects that will transform the sector for the greater good.”

The new grant is in partnership with Department for Transport and comes as the Maritime Minister launches the new recovery route map, setting out the actions to help the sector recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Maritime Minister Robert Courts said:

“Seafarer wellbeing is at the heart of our Maritime 2050 agenda and we know that mental health difficulties at sea affect thousands of seafarers. We are committed to tackling this and building a diverse, highly skilled and exciting sector across the board – from shipbuilders to bosuns.

“This funding will help us tackle this problem by supporting the excellent work being done by charities and social organisations and fostering new programmes.

“I am also pleased to be launching our recovery route map, which will help to build a resilient, innovative and future-facing maritime sector for generations to come.”

The MNWB is among three organisations – Maritime UK and Cowes Enterprise College – to work with government in developing seafarers’ wellbeing, maritime skills, diversity and careers.

Mr Rivers added:

“This significant investment in the maritime charity sector is both timely and extremely welcome. The maritime charities sector has been supporting seafarers through multiple crises over the past 2 years, despite the difficult fundraising conditions. Department for Transport’s funding will provide a real boost to seafarers’ welfare and enable improvements in skills and diversity for the wider sector.

“The funding will support maritime skills, diversity, careers and seafarer wellbeing, with £230,000 of the funding allotted to Maritime UK to support green skills, a ratings review and drive forward careers and diversity plans and a further £140,000 to Ormiston Maritime Academy to promote maritime in schools in key target areas for regional growth.”

As the UK National Seafarers’ Welfare Board (NSWB), the Board maintains 16 Port Welfare Committees (PWCs) covering all UK ports and Gibraltar. With a combined membership of 358 and each one meeting three times a year, the committees continue to serve as an important platform for regional maritime partnerships to monitor and improve the quality of welfare services for seafarers.

To apply for funding, click here