Since 1917 King George’s Fund for Sailors – now better known as Seafarers UK – has campaigned on behalf of professional seafarers, across the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Fishing Fleets.
That’s why we strive to raise awareness of seafarers every year. In 2020 Seafarers Awareness Week was 6-12 July – coinciding with the Department for Transport’s Maritime Safety Week – when Seafarers UK led other organisations in promoting the UK’s ongoing dependence on merchant seafarers, brought into sharp focus by the various impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seafarers UK launched our ‘Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day’ campaign in 2015. To raise awareness of the UK’s dependence on seafarers past, present and future, this campaign encourages public bodies, businesses and other property owners across the UK on 3 September to fly the Red Ensign – the official flag of the UK Merchant Navy – on civic, corporate and historic buildings, and on prominent flag poles.
The charity’s influence is also being applied elsewhere for effective campaigning. Seafarers UK is a member of Maritime UK – the umbrella body for the whole UK maritime sector, bringing together the shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries – for whom our CEO Catherine Spencer emphasises the vital role of seafarers and chairs the ‘Maritime Careers Taskforce‘.