Supporting the provision of quality welfare for seafarers and their dependants
The Sea Shed Digital (SSD) Project promotes a safe, friendly and inclusive venue at the Aberdeen Seafarers' Centre (ASC) for retired seafarers to meet and share experiences, knowledge and resources around a focal IT group. The group had an initial launch in January 2018 and subsequently meets fortnightly for peer support and tab nabs. Those involved are encouraged to visit the seafarer centre daily, to take advantage of the free broadband and support provided by Revd. Drysdale, Port Chaplain and the Project Coordinator, Capt. Deeming. The support provided is initially focusing on using information technology to connect with friends, family, and the local community and will progress to banking, writing letters, sending email, shopping and storing photographs.
If you are a retired seafarer in the Aberdeen area and would be interested in more information about this project please email the Project Coordinator at
or phone the ASC
Lone working means any work activity where you are isolated from other people. So, this could mean travelling as part of work activities, working at remote locations, or even working from home and can apply to employees as well as volunteers. After concerns raised by Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) constituent members with regards to lone working staff and volunteers involved with case worker and ship welfare visits; research was carried out into the lone working remit of organisations.
The project allowed members wishing to learn more about lone working devices/products to trial the latest inventions with their lone working staff and volunteers and have access to pricing for these products. Vital feedback was being collated from individuals who aided in the trial around functionality, user friendliness and ease of use (considering cost as well) of the products trialled. A report of the trial will be circulated to Constituent members in due course.
Funded by the Merchant Navy fund this project addresses the issues of retired seafarers and sometimes their families' access to and knowledge of Information Technology. Working in partnership with Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home, Mariners’ Park and Care Ashore the Board has provided a combination of hardware (laptops and tablets), software (bespoke beginner’s operating system), limited Wi-Fi provision and training over a period of 18 months.
The Watch Ashore was the wives and partners organisation for the MN. Although primarily a social organisation the Watch Ashore was extremely keen to increase its membership in order to reach more potential members whose loved ones may have needed support when their loved ones were serving away at sea. To that end, with the financial support of the MN Fund and Seafarers UK, the Watch Ashore was working with MNWB on a collaborative project to attract new members by embracing social media, upgrading their website and becoming more involved with the voluntary welfare organisations. A small number of Watch Ashore members were issued with tablet computers and voluntarily attended a joint social media, IT and welfare ‘signposting’ course with more members following. The project aimed to provide the Watch Ashore with the tools and training to raise its profile and improve its outreach in order to increase its membership and continue to help the maritime charity sector by referring those who may need welfare support.
The Board maintains a bespoke database which captures data on all aspects of seafarers’ welfare provision across UK ports. The information was gathered by consultation at PWC meetings and enabled those providing port based welfare to review the level of welfare need against available resources at port level. The next stage of the project revolved around making the database both remotely updateable and available to the numerous port authorities, society head offices and port chaplains. To that end, MNWB made a successful grant application to the government, funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership and were working closely with Southampton Solent University to create an interactive, web based database that would make information readily available to the maritime community.
Our mission is to help improve the effectiveness of all those charities caring for merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependants.
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