In response to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on merchant seafarers, fishermen, women and their families, Seafarers UK have created a new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2million, with £500,000 immediately allocated to assist fishing communities across Britain.
Included in the grants that have been awarded to partners providing advice and support arising from the widespread impacts of the coronavirus are:
- £250,000 to provide match funding with The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust for innovative projects to support fish and seafood businesses, benefiting the catching sector. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Programme guidelines can be found at http://fishonfriday.org.uk/covid-19-rapid-response-grant-programme-grant-guidelines/
- £200,000 to The Fishermen’s Mission to provide hardship welfare grants to fishers and their families, based on requests received via the Mission’s frontline staff – see https://www.fishermensmission.org.uk/covid-19-helping-us-help-you/
- £50,000 reserved for organisations working with fishers around the UK.
Seafarers UK’s Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Spencer said: “We are feeling very motivated by the scale of this Emergency Fund. It will provide hardship support through our long term charity partners, and our new work with The Fishmongers’ Company, which demonstrates our cause approach to helping fishers.
“We are supporting welfare and providing hardship grants, but also tackling the underlying causes of financial difficulty. We will help fishers keep fishing by creating new online routes to consumers.
“We are supporting fishers during the collapse of hospitality and export sales to create new supply chains to a previously untapped domestic market in the UK that we hope will endure beyond the COVID-19 crisis. Our ambition is for fishers to receive fair value for their fish while bringing wholesome food and a reasonable price to consumers too.”
Grants from Seafarers UK are offered to charities and other organisations providing services to fishers and their families. Applications should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. See grant funding guidance for applicants or phone 020 7932 0000 for more information.
Individual fishers seeking support should contact SAIL (Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line), a dedicated free Citizens Advice facility that receives an annual grant from Seafarers UK. Phone 0800 160 1842, email email@example.com or visit www.sailine.org.uk.
Image: Eugene Rutter