May 17 is Nautical Friday, Seafarers UK’s annual fundraising day, when people are being asked to ‘wear something stripy’, show their support for our seafarers and give money to support seafarers in need.
Seafarers UK was formed in 1917 as King George’s Fund for Sailors, following the loss of thousands of seafarers’ lives during the First World War. For 95 years our funding has continued to make a real difference to the lives of serving and ex-seafarers across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
Seafarers work in a stressful and hazardous environment. Fishermen risk their lives to provide food for our tables. Merchant sailors handle 95 per cent of the UK’s imports. In the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, men and women serve to protect UK shores and shipping and our national interests overseas.
Each year Seafarers UK gives annual grants totalling £2.5 million to help seafarers and their families who are suffering from poverty, poor health, welfare issues, injury or bereavement. But despite our Royal Charter and the impact of our work, Seafarers UK is not well known outside our island nation’s maritime community. We have only 18 local fundraising committees around the UK and I hope that Nautical Friday will help us to attract new supporters to join us in our important task of improving the lives of seafarers and their families who find themselves in need of help.
To make a donation on Nautical Friday or to find out more about the vital work that we do please visit www.seafarers-uk.org or contact 020 7932 0000.
Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN