Grant funding

Seafarers UK is a leading provider of grants to maritime charities and charitable maritime projects, working to help serving and ex-serving seafarers and their families who are experiencing hardship.

Our aim is to provide sustainable funding and improve the quality of life for those in greatest need.

We meet our aim through supporting organisations which provide welfare and support services for seafarers.

The seafarers we support are:

  • Older seafarers, over the usual age of retirement, and their dependants.
  • Working age seafarers working at sea in the maritime industries, former seafarers under retirement age and Merchant Navy cadets and trainees.
  • Families and dependants of current or former seafarers who are still of working age.
  • Young people in maritime youth groups focusing on those considering or pursuing a career at sea.

En-suite accommodation for an elderly ex-Merchant Navy seafarer

After being forced to take early retirement from the Merchant Navy at the age of 60, William found it difficult to find affordable accommodation and lived in lonely bedsits. Struggling with depression and illness William was eventually referred to the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest who provide accommodation and welfare services for both active and retired seafarers.

Read case study
overlay Seafarers UK - a charity that helps people in the maritime community, by providing vital funding to support seafarers in need and their families.

In 2016 we had over 120 applications and awarded 103 grants totalling £2,574,662, including funding seven organisations that were new to us.

Please see our grant funding guidelines for more details about how to apply. Please also see our Approach to Applicants’ Reserves Approach to Applicants Reserves for your information.

With effect from 01 January 2017 there are no grant application deadlines, as we operate a continuous grant making process and assess applications on a rolling basis.  This means you can submit an application to us at any time.

Decisions on grant applications are made a minimum of six times a year.  We cannot guarantee that your application will be considered at a particular time and so it is recommended that you plan ahead.

Please note:

  • Grant applications will only be accepted if your accounts have been submitted within the 10 month time frame as accepted by the Charity Commission.
  • Grant applications in excess of £10,000 can take a minimum of three months to assess and be considered by Trustees.
  • For grant requests of £10,000 and under it can take a minimum of six weeks before you hear of a decision.

Please also note that you must pass the grant application eligibility quiz before you can apply for a grant – this is all part of the online grant application process.

You may apply any number of times in any one calendar year. The only restriction (beyond our remit of supporting seafarers and their families) is that each application must be for a separate activity, project or service.

We also have a separate Merchant Navy Fund grants programme (in conjunction with the Merchant Navy Welfare Board). This programme is aimed specifically at helping UK Merchant Navy seafarers and their families. The Merchant Navy Fund application process is the same as our main grants programme. Please refer to  grant funding guidelines for more details.

If you wish to apply for funding you can do this via our online application system at any time.

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Please call if you are unclear on any matter or if you would like to discuss any aspect of your eligibility or application. Contact Grants on 0207 932 0000 or via email to  

We are committed to achieving the highest standards in all our activities and are proud that Seafarers UK was awarded the PQASSO Quality Mark. Your feedback is welcome – whether you are a beneficiary past, present or potential, please give us some feedback using the form – there are only 3 questions! Or you can call us on 020 7932 0000.

In 2016 we had 121 applications and awarded 103 grants totalling £2,574,662.