Help for individuals

Seafarers UK does not give grants to individuals. We support organisations who provide support for individuals.

But if you are interested in finding out more about a career in maritime, or if you are a serving or former seafarer and need assistance, then the following links or online services may be helpful:

Welfare support for British seafarers only:

  • SAIL
    Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line – this organisation gives free advice to seafarers and their families and is part of the UK’s Citizen’s Advice Network. Contact SAIL on 0800 160 1842 or via email at advice@sailine.org.uk – for help with benefits, debt, housing and more.
  • Seafarer Support
    SeafarerSupport is a UK free telephone and signposting service. Seafarer Support assesses the needs of the individual and then signposts you to the appropriate support. Call them on FREEPHONE 0800 121 4765. You can also make enquiries via their online enquiry form or via Skype – Skype4SAIL (NB Skype calls are by pre-arranged appointment only).
  • Turn2us
    Turn2us is a charity that helps people in financial need to access financial help – it is for all people, including seafarers. They will help you find financial support, based on your circumstances. Their website also features a free and easy to use Benefits Calculator, Grants Search and other information and resources.

Organisations providing help and information for all seafarers:

  • International Seafarers Welfare And Assistance Network (ISWAN)
    ISWAN provides a free and confidential service to cater to the problems of individual seafarers. Their main service is known as SeafarerHelp. Assistance is available 24/7 throughout the year and covers areas ranging from poor wages and working conditions, to just being able to talk to someone when in need. Find out more about ISWAN and SeafarerHelp
  • CrewToo
    Crewtoo is the world’s largest online network of the seafaring community, with more than 112,000 members.
  • Maritime Piracy – Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP)
    MPHRP is a pan-industry alliance of ship owners, managers, manning agents, insurers and welfare associations, working together to assist seafarers and their families with the humanitarian aspects of a traumatic incident caused by a piracy attack, armed robbery or being taken hostage.
  • Apostleship of the Sea
    The Apostleship of the Sea is a Catholic charity supporting seafarers worldwide. It provides practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race. Their port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors welcome seafarers, offer welfare services and advice, practical help, care and friendship.
  • Cassiobury Court
    Cassiobury Court offers free help and advice for veterans who suffer with addiction and mental health problems. For more information, click here.
  • The Mission to Seafarers
    The Mission to Seafarers is a missionary society of the Anglican Church, which cares for the spiritual and practical welfare of all seafarers regardless of nationality or faith. It has a network of chaplains, staff and volunteers in 300 ports worldwide.
  • The Sailors’ Society
    The Sailors’ Society provides facilities for the world’s seafarers, affording assistance to them and their families, whenever and wherever this is needed. The Society is inter-denominational and, in seafarers’ centres or aboard ship, its Chaplains are always ready to provide advice and assistance – irrespective of a person’s belief or nationality.
  • Sailors Helpline
    The Sailors Helpline is based out of Chennai, India. Its purpose is to serve the maritime fraternity of India with emergency social services. Confidentiality is of prime importance and all calls and emails in liaison with this organisation are kept completely private. It is an NGO and non-governmental in nature, attracting volunteers from the legal profession, the church and others involved in the industry.
  • International Labor Organisation (ILO)
    The ILO is an arm of the United Nations (UN), which deals with international labor standards, and other labor related issues across the world. The ILO has been pivotal in the formation of the conventions such as the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC, 2006), Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention (1996), Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (1987), Seafarers’ Identity Document Convention (2003) and more.
  • International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
    ITF stands for the interest of the union workers associated with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Labor Organization (ILO), and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Affiliation of unions to the ITF enables it to negotiate the various interests and rights of workers/seafarers. Help by the ITF is rendered irrespective of nationality and/or the flag of the seafarer’s vessel.
  • Human Rights at Sea (HRAS)
    Human Rights at Sea is a charity that runs an on-going campaign to improve awareness, implementation and accountability of human rights provisions throughout the maritime environment. HRAS also runs the Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme (MSRP), the aim of which is to build an accurate international database detailing the status of seafarers and fishermen missing at sea on a global basis. For more information on MSRP, see here.
  • Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI)
    Seafarers’ Rights International is the international centre for advancing the legal protection of seafarers. It is a unique and independent training centre dedicated to advancing seafarers’ interests through research, education and training in the law concerning seafarers.
  • Seafarers’ Link
    Seafarers’ Link runs free telephone friendship groups for ex-mmebers of the Merchant Navy, the Royal Navy,  and the WRNS, as well as former fishermen and seafarers’ wives, partners, family and carers.
  • Watch Ashore
    Watch Ashore is a not-for-profit social organisation that provides support and friendship to partners and families of Merchant Navy personnel.

Maritime careers information in the UK:

  • Seafarers Awareness Week
    Seafarers Awareness Week is coordinated and promoted by Seafarers UK. The website includes a comprehensive list of maritime training establishments in the UK.
  • Maritime UK
    Maritime UK brings together the shipping, ports and maritime business services sectors in the UK to speak with a single voice on key strategic and practical issues of joint interest. Its intention is to create “joined-up” industry positions between these sectors so that the maritime message can be heard clearly and with greater weight by legislators and other audiences.
  • Careers at Sea
    Packed with resources, the Careers at Sea website is your first port of call to being part of 21st-century seafaring. You’ll be able to find out about roles at sea, Merchant Navy training courses and the maritime sponsoring companies that could steer your journey to becoming a seafarer.
  • Maritime London Officer Cadetship Scheme
    The Maritime London Officer Cadet Scholarship (MLOCS) is a charity which provides the funds to enable young people to undertake the three to four year training required to become a Merchant Navy deck, engine or electro-technical officer.
  • Maritime Skills Alliance
    The Maritime Skills Alliance sets and promotes skills standards for the UK’s maritime sector. Much of its work so far has been devoted to developing a suite of interlocking standards and qualifications which enable employees to progress both within their specialism and between sectors.
  • Professional Yacht Cadetship
    The Professional Yacht Cadetship is a structured 4 year programme with one intake per year, which allows cadets to earn while they learn to train for a long-term career in superyachting.
  • Professional Yacht Cadetship Bursary
    The fund provides a unique pathway into the superyacht industry for those young people who have the potential but not necessarily the funds to access training. The bursary will allocate funds to selected young people to enable them to join the highly successful Professional Yacht Cadetship.

Over 185,000 people in need helped through our funding in 2016