Seafarers UK

Seafarers UK

- 05/10/2017

On Friday 1 September Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh, gave a brief keynote address, as follows:

First of all thank you for inviting me to be with you this evening to raise the flag for Seafarers UK.
This gives an opportunity both to remember the First World War, and to celebrate the centenary of Seafarers UK, because in 1917 such was the impact of so many seafarers having been maimed or lost at sea during the Great War that the King gave his name to a new charity, the King George’s Fund for Sailors.
Since then Seafarers UK – as it is now known – has helped all seafarers who are in desperate need, and their families, across the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets. This is a wide spectrum indeed and every year grants are given to help seafarers who need advice and help with such things as housing, health, education and care.
To mark the centenary the charity is profile and fundraising to support its beneficiaries under its centenary theme of ‘Supporting Seafarers: Past, Present and Future’.
The past is being honoured with a significant extension to the charity’s home for seafarers where 22 new apartments will offer 24 hours care to those who need it.
The present is being marked by the provision of more Port Welfare Partnerships to look after seafarers in port when they are separated from their families.
Finally, looking to the future the charity is launching a new initiative with mobile engineering units which will offer taster sessions to the young and the chance to acquire qualifications in marine engineering.
Underpinning all of this is a further objective of the charity: to spread the word that seafarers of every type are essential to our country because our country depends on sea trade.
In summary, Seafarers UK gives a chance to look back with gratitude to those who given their lives in the First World War, and indeed the Second too: we have only to remember the Battle of the Atlantic, or, nearer to home, the amazing sacrifices of the Arctic Convoys. Seafarers UK also allows us to provide for seamen who are currently in need, and finally the charity gives us the chance to look forward to the future with its emphasis on youth. In short it’s a charity doing great work and I am delighted to be here to support it.

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