As a significant percentage of seafarers’ welfare facilities are still unable to open, the Mission to Seafarers is using digital services to provide emotional and counselling support to seafarers during this time. The campaign, which was first launched in April, is continuing to raise funds to support its new on-line chaplaincy welfare service and further responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
The international campaign gives participants 90 days to reach their challenge goal and raise their target. So far, the Mission to Seafarers has raised £51k, with a goal of £60k in sight. The Mission has praised the efforts of individuals in the maritime industry who have taken on a challenge themselves whilst in lockdown. Guy Platten, ICS secretary general, and companies like Ardmore Shipping, North, and Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers are a few named by the Misson to Seafarers.
All the funds raised will contribute towards the Flying Angel campaign, created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The campaign includes the new Digital Chaplaincy, a Seafarers’ Happiness Index App, Mifi Units for onboard communications, PPE global provision, advocacy provision, and more.
Secretary general, Andrew Wright, said: “Seafarers are struggling in many ways …Many are unable now to finish their contracts on time because they are not allowed into their transit ports. They are having to work on. Some have asked to be released early so they can be with their families – but this is usually not possible now. Some have made it out of the port but have ended up stuck because they cannot get flights home as the airline system collapses. Many are not being allowed off ships, and there is a danger of stigmatisation – as potential disease carriers. Mental health issues will be very real.
“We need to tell their stories. These men and women are doing truly heroic stuff in keeping our supplies going against a very difficult background. Without them we truly will be stuffed.”
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