The Mission will use the funding to design and develop a new UK volunteering outreach strategy for 2019, which aims to increase the number of young people (25-45) and female volunteers within the Mission, as well as those from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. This follows research undertaken by the Mission which suggests that engaging a more diverse volunteer base will help to improve the services they offer by better reflecting the needs of an increasingly diverse seafaring community.
The funding will also be used to improve the Mission’s port-based services across the UK, by increasing the number of ships visits its port chaplains conduct every month, from 50 to 60 and allowing greater access to 24-hour facilities in key ports around the UK. This will allow an additional 5,000 seafarers to receive support from the Mission each year, in Wales, the Humber and Scotland.
Further plans on how the grant will be used include an event to promote the work of the Mission’s chaplains and the way it engages with the challenges of culture, justice and advocacy.
Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, commented:
“We are hugely grateful to Seafarers UK for their generosity and continued support of our work here at the Mission. This vital funding will be used to enrich the quality of the support we provide by diversifying our support network to better align with the needs of the men and women we serve. By enhancing our service provision across the UK, we hope that seafarers arriving on our shores will feel truly at home, and will be able to communicate with and relate to the people there to support them.
“We will continue to implement and review our services to ensure they remain relevant and cost-effective in the year to come, and that we continue to provide first-rate health, welfare and advocacy services for seafarers in the UK and around the globe.”
The £110k grant builds on previous funding awarded to the Mission by Seafarers UK last year, which was used to support training and development of the Mission’s existing volunteer force and improve its monitoring and evaluation processes. This included the establishment of a new 24-hour seafarers centre in Port Talbot – the first new centre to be opened in the UK in 20 years.