Thursday, December 9, 2021

As the Misery of Covid Continues to Impact Crews Around the World Help is at Hand

Charity Gathers Funds to Make Christmas a Little More Bearable for Seafarers
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – Despite the damage caused to many in the transport sector by the pandemic, it seems generosity of spirit lives, as the Mission to Seafarers announced this week it has raised over £465,000 for its ongoing Sustaining Crew Welfare Campaign, thanks to the generosity of donors from across the maritime industry.

Special mention goes to Ocean Network Express (ONE) and X-Press Feeders Ltd which have doubled their previous donations, recognising the need for immediate support and issuing a call for others to join the cause, in addition to Taylor Maritime Investments which has come on board as a Silver sponsor.

Covid 19 is still negatively impacting seafarers, particularly those crews who are unable to access shore leave owing to in-port restrictions or company policy. Around the world, the Mission’s teams co-ordinate their work with key port stakeholders. This has enabled chaplains and welfare teams to focus on providing crew with the practical and mental health support they need.

The fund provides crucial support for the Mission’s 200 ports, delivering targeted support in those locations where the need is greatest. From providing local teams with PPE, to delivering tech solutions to enable seafarers to contact home, the fund facilitates a broad range of welfare initiatives which directly benefit seafarers and their families.

In many ports, chaplaincy teams are facilitating vaccinations for seafarers with the latest big announcement being that Panama will provide vaccinations for seafarers passing through its port. Ben Bailey, Director of Advocacy & Regional Engagement, The Mission to Seafarers, commented:

“Despite the festive cheer that this season typically brings, seafarers continue to face challenging circumstances as they work to keep vital supply chains open. Seafarers are used to being away from loved ones at key moments in the calendar, but for a second year running, shore leave remains a dream in many parts of the world, and we are concerned about the mental health consequences this could have.

”Our chaplaincy teams will be working hard over the Christmas period to provide crews with access to a range of wellbeing resources, as well as solutions to enable seafarers to connect with home. All of this is only possible because of supporters to our Sustaining Crew Welfare campaign. We are incredibly grateful to our friends within the industry who have helped us this year to do so much for seafarers and their families. We invite others to join us so that we can do even more.”

As well as ONE and X-Press Feeders having doubled their donations, this makes them now both Platinum sponsors of the campaign alongside original platinum sponsors Wan Hai Lines Ltd, The Seafarers’ Charity and Grimaldi Group. Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express, said:

“With respect to international shipping, and all the world's seafarers of multiple nationalities who have contributed so greatly to keeping global trade and supply chains moving through the pandemic, ONE is proud to be a strong supporter and sponsor of The Mission to Seafarers, and all the great work that they do in so many countries."

Additionally the current Gold sponsors are MSC, TeeKay and Grindrod, while Gaslog and recent donor Taylor Maritime Investments unite as Silver sponsors. AET, ICS and Moore Stephens make up the Bronze sponsors of the fund. Tim Hartnoll, Executive Chairman at X-Press Feeders Ltd, concluded:

“The current circumstances for seafarers across the world remain extremely challenging and difficult as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact seafarers and the entire industry. Container shipping relies on the seafarers who keep global trade moving under extremely challenging and difficult operations.

”Being a part of the maritime industry, we are aware of the hardship of working at sea over a long period of time. Their well-being is our top priority. X-Press Feeders is proud to be part of this donation drive in sustaining the crew welfare support around the world.”

To show your support for seafarers, access more information on this project and the range of sponsorship and funding opportunities available, click HERE. Or, better yet, to directly donate and support this excellent cause it’s HERE.