The response fund coincides with UK Seafarers Awareness Week (6-12 July) and will provide support to working age seafarers facing the economic impact of the pandemic.

The grant supplements the Society’s existing annual grant expenditure of £1.4m, which is predominantly focused on providing support to retired seafarers or those suffering with health issues.

The new fund signifies a temporary change in spending priorities to reflect the disastrous financial impact on working mariners and represents the biggest uplift in Society spending since WWII.

The charity is dependant on income from investments to continue its long-term work but the current crisis demanded a re-assessment of the balance between existing and future need, reflecting both the significant welfare impact of the crisis, but also recognising the UK’s high dependency on maritime trade and its maritime workforce for future prosperity.

The financial impact of this pandemic will be with us for years to come, and we have already spent significant funds helping hard pressed families keep food on the table and ensure the lights stay on. Our next major challenge will be supporting those who are unable to manage the inevitable debts which will build up during the crisis, in particular helping to ensure families keep a roof over their heads as mortgage and rent holidays come to an end,

...said Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chairman, Capt. Nigel Palmer OBE MNM.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society provides grants to seafarers with at least five years of sea service.