Accordingly, Mission to Seafarers has always considered seafarers to be key workers and the charity’s front-line staff have been determined to support them in a way which has been practical and safe, but 2020 presented additional challenges.
Also, they maintained port-based welfare services in approximately 40% of its network and has been the only welfare charity to do so.
In June, they launched a new campaign focusing on the major welfare issues that seafarers face during the pandemic.
Ben Bailey Director of Advocacy and Regional Engagement at Mission to Seafarers stated that they have worked hard to make seafarers’ centres around the world ‘COVID-19 secure’, and distributed PPE to all front-line teams. They are in line with strict hygiene protocols and found creative ways to provide the goods seafarers requested.
He added that
In one meeting, families heard from a wellbeing expert and learnt breathing and stretching techniques. In another, seafarers’ children sang songs and learnt dances, which were then recorded and sent to their seafaring parents on ships.
In May, Norway-based Wilhelmsen Ship Management launched a crowdfunding, to support maritime charity Mission to Seafarers (MtS), in addressing the hardships for seafarers amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In April, Mission to Seafarers launched its digital chaplaincy service Chat to a Chaplain, a tool that provides 24/7 support to seafarers and their families, with the communication delivered through the website and social media.
Having support from key maritime stakeholders, the Mission will be at the quayside for seafarers over the Christmas period, delivering access to communication, shopping and many will be providing Christmas presents. This year, they has received £25,000 from the ITF and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, to buy gifts for seafarers. In some cases, this will include the purchase of local supplies, toiletries and treats.