Seafarers UK was given the opportunity to review our strategic priorities as a charity and reaffirm that our grant making is being targeted in the most effective manner to address the greatest needs of the maritime sector currently.
During this process, we received a directive from our Trustees to strategically focus on beneficiary needs. The needs of fishermen were highlighted during this reflective process and from that Seafarers UK decided to strengthen and enhance our commitment to supporting the needs of workers engaged in the UK’s Fishing Fleets.
In the past, Seafarers UK’s financial support for fishermen has been channelled through organisations providing front line services, including The Fishermen’s Mission. In order to understand how Seafarers UK’s grant making could be effectively targeted in the future, addressing both the needs of seafarers as well as maximising impact, Seafarers UK commissioned research for an evidence-based report detailing the challenges currently facing the UK’s Fishing Fleet. In partnership with the Cornwall Rural Community Charity and Rose Regeneration, we published the report in June, 2018.
It was vital for Seafarers UK to ensure that the research undertaken was informed by fishermen themselves, their real needs and aspirations for their profession at this time of uncertainty. The research enabled those living and actively working within the UK’s fishing communities to make their views known on potential solutions that could make a real difference to their working lives, thereby enabling their livelihoods to be sustained and their wellbeing to be maintained.
Many of the solutions proposed in the ‘Fishing for a Future’ report can be taken as a basis to shape future individual funding initiatives, while other solutions require strategic collaborative funding partnerships with others interested in supporting the UK’s fishing communities. Grant funders, such as Seafarers UK, provides grants to support the safety and welfare of today’s fishing communities. However, with the analysis and recommendations in the report, it is hoped that ‘Fishing for a Future’ will contribute to making the fishing profession more appealing for new recruits and the fishermen of the future.
The ‘Fishing for a Future’ report is available to download here.