Seafarer charities launch extra support to crew and welfare services during COVID-19 pandemic

Credit: Getty Images

An emergency fund of GBP1 million was launched, on 31 March, by ITF Seafarer’s Trust for seafarers and their families, as well as welfare services at risk due to the financial impact of COVID-19.

The ITF Seafarers’ Trust Welfare Fund will facilitate fast grant payments for projects that alleviate hardship, stress and isolation of seafarers and their families. The fund will also cater for the maintenance of seafarer welfare services impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19.

TK Foundation, a private foundation supporting non-profit and maritime youth programmes, is also working with the Trust on the funding.

“As well as providing for seafarers, we also want to make sure that the welfare services that currently offer much appreciated welfare support for seafarers, survive to serve another day after this crisis is over,” said Katie Higginbottom, head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust.

Applications for access to the ITF Seafarers’ Trust grants can be made here.

Meanwhile, international maritime welfare charity, Sailor’s Society, has launched a suite of practical resources including advice, contacts and podcasts to help seafarers during this period of crisis.

“While the rest of us struggle with suddenly only being able to see our family and friends on a video call, this is the reality for seafarers every day. And images of empty supermarket shelves are a stark reminder of how vital these men and women are to our supply chains, bringing almost everything we need by sea,” said Sandra Welch, COO of Sailor’s Society.

To access Sailor’s Society resources please click here.