The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has established a £1M COVID-19 Response Fund to provide financial support to UK merchant seafarers and fishers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The response fund has launched to coincide with Seafarers Awareness Week (6-12 July) and will provide support to working age seafarers facing the economic impact of the pandemic, supplementing 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 significantly dependant on income from investments to continue its long-term work but is clear that 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.
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