About us

Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping people in the maritime community for 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.

We do this this by giving grants to organisations and projects that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Last year we gave grants totalling £3.17 million to over 60 maritime welfare charities.

‘We are very grateful to Seafarers UK for their support of our work. The funding will enable us to provide much needed respite breaks for 14 disabled ex-seafarers and their carers, helping them restore their strength, well-being and capacity to cope.’

Chris Simmonds, CEO, Revitalise

As an ‘island nation’ we depend on our seafarers to defend our shores, trade with other countries and import essential fuel and food. The job of a seafarer is therefore vital, but also demanding and hazardous with a much greater chance of injury than many other professions. A large number of those serving will be facing problems of very different kinds; long periods of separation from friends and family, extended periods of duty, fatigue, and working heavy machinery whilst being exposed to harsh weather.

Such dangers and difficulties can lead to disability, depression, debt, relationship breakdown, homelessness or even death. Our funding enables seafarers to access advice and information, adapt to life on shore, re-train and find new employment. It also improves their quality of life by helping to provide the essentials of daily living that a small pension (or none) cannot cover. Often it may be the family of a seafarer who has been injured, held hostage or who has subsequently passed-away that require assistance.

Looking after the welfare of Merchant seafarers in Tilbury Port

Seafarers’ Centre at Tilbury Port is helping to improving the welfare of Merchant seafarers. Read Santo's story.

Read case study

Because Seafarers UK works closely with all of the organisations that support seafarers and their dependants, we can target donations where they will make the biggest difference. Seafarers UK receives no government funding and relies on donations and fundraising to be able to carry on providing long-term aid. Without this, there simply wouldn’t be the level of support we are able to provide today and that last year gave hope and help to over 170,000 seafarers, their families, and those preparing to work or serve at sea when they needed it most.

Fisherman James shares his story and explains how important it is to have a Fishermen’s Mission (a charity supported by Seafarers UK) centre in Troon, Scotland.