The Seafarers’ Charity announced the award of grants to new online services to support seafarers who have experienced sexual violence and to help tackle loneliness and suicide.
As part of their new strategic approach, The Seafarers’ Charity awarded a total of £844,760 to 17 organisations in its first meeting of this year’s grant programme.
More specifically, the charity recently launched its strategy ‘Thrive’, which focuses on achieving five strategic outcomes for seafarers:
This comes in addition to last year’s award of £3.5m to organisations supporting seafarers through its annual grants award programme and additionally a specific COVID-19 Emergency Fund to provide an all-embracing eco-system of welfare support to seafarers.
In addition, the charity Safer Waves is amongst the new grant recipients for the provision of an email support service to merchant seafarers who have experienced sexual violence, harassment, or gender discrimination while working at sea. The anonymous service will help seafarers process traumatic incidents, give coping strategies if they are still in an abusive situation, and ultimately reduce the impact of the incident. The pre-development consultation of the service showed that email was the preferred communication method.
This new service has been developed after research suggested that after experiencing harassment or assault, cases were badly mishandled, and victims did not have access to appropriate support.
Another newly funded service will be delivered by Befrienders Worldwide to offer emotional support to seafarers through a new Befrienders Worldwide Help App which will enable seafarers feeling isolated or lonely to contact designated Help centres located in ‘shipping’ countries: USA – Boston; Spain – Costa del Sol; Sri Lanka / India; Singapore – Singapore City; Philippines – Manila; China – Hong Kong.
We aim to be responsive to the needs of seafarers and our strategic approach aims to remove hardship and get to the root of problems through proactive and innovative work. We’re pleased to be working with these two new partners to provide these new and much-needed services to support the difficulties experienced by those who work at sea,
…Catherine Spencer, CEO of The Seafarers’ Charity said.