2000s

  • The Fund remains the only organisation with the mandate to represent and campaign on behalf of the whole UK maritime community

    Determined to honour the objects set out when it was founded in 1917, the Fund preserved its tripartite grants programme and maintained the many other links which had been fostered between the three seagoing arms.

  • On September 3, 2000, the UK marked its first Merchant Navy Day to honour the merchant seafarers who kept the nation 'afloat' during both World Wars.

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  • 26 December 2004

    The Fund sets up an emergency fund to assist local fishermen following a tsunami in South East Asia

    A 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the western coast of Northern Sumatra causes a tsunami in South East Asia, resulting in more than 230,000 deaths and 1.7 million people rendered homeless. The Fund sets up an emergency fund to assist local fishermen in rebuilding their lives.

  • The start of the century saw the building of superliners. The Royal Navy saw further reductions, though new, larger aircraft carriers have been promised.

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  • January 2005

    King George’s Fund for Sailors adopts the working name, Seafarers UK, to better reflect the needs and diversity of those it helps

    This provided an opportunity to rebrand in every area of operation and make all stakeholders aware of the changes. Despite the fact that the new name more accurately reflected the charity's altered role, it attracted some criticism.

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    Fortunately, after a couple of years of promotion, most people came to accept that actually Seafarers UK was quite a snappy title.

  • The Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Naval Special Forces and numerous personnel lead UK forces in Southern Afghanistan.

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  • 2007

    Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) is created

    The last 25 years has seen a reduction in one of the Fund's primary roles, assistance for Royal Navy seafarers, after the Royal Navy decided it wished to have more influence over a charity closer to its own command chain. This led to the creation of RNRMC with assistance from Greenwich Hospital to oversee Royal Navy welfare and amenities both within and outside the serving Navy.

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    From being one of the primary sources of funds to many Royal Navy welfare charities, King George's Fund for Sailors offered considerable assistance to this fledgling charity, while also retaining a reduced naval grants programme of its own.

  • The Supporting Seafarers Conference brings together 75 maritime charities to consider the needs of the UK seafaring community.

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  • The Fund examines its own position in the sector

    The significant shift in maritime charity policy resulted in by the creation of RNRMC gave the Fund the opportunity to examine its own position in the sector. Research revealed that many members of the public and even some supporters thought that it had always been primarily a Royal Navy institution.

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    Efforts to maintain a level playing field across both Royal and Merchant Navies had not been entirely successful, but this stark realisation enabled the charity to take a more radical look at its own future.