Campaigning

Since 1917 King George’s Fund for Sailors – now better known as Seafarers UK – has campaigned on behalf of seafarers, across the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Fishing Fleets.

The charity also seeks to raise awareness of the UK’s maritime sector in its entirety – and thereby increase public understanding of the challenging lives of many seafarers. Only then will more UK residents appreciate why it is so important for us to support seafarers in need and their dependants – and also to continue encouraging young people to consider working or serving at sea.

That’s why we coordinate Seafarers Awareness Week every year. In 2018 Seafarers Awareness Week was 23-30 June, when Seafarers UK successfully led the promotion of maritime employment opportunities, including shore-based jobs.

Seafarers UK launched our ‘Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day’ campaign in 2015. Intended to raise public awareness of the UK’s dependence as an ‘island nation’ on seafarers past, present and future, this campaign encourages public bodies on 3 September to fly the Red Ensign – the official flag of the UK Merchant Navy – ashore atop civic buildings and on prominent flag poles.

The charity’s considerable influence is also being applied elsewhere for effective campaigning. Seafarers UK is a member of Maritime UK, the pan-industry promotional body, for whom we chair the ‘Careers Promotion Forum’.

For more information please contact Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK, email nick.harvey@seafarers.uk, phone 020 7932 5969.

In 2019 Seafarers Awareness Week will be 8-14 July, culminating on Sea Sunday.