Secretary General Andrew Wright reflects on the importance of legacy donations in ensuring the mission can continue its work
Our gratitude for past legacy donations
As we look back over our history, many of the challenges faced by seafarers have remained constant – wind, weather, dangerous cargoes, remote ports and very long periods away from home amongst them. However, much has changed and The Mission to Seafarers remains committed to ensuring that we are responsive to an ever-changing industry. For example, the reduction of crew sizes has in one sense improved living conditions, but on the other hand can lead to significantly increased isolation of seafarers. Our chaplaincy teams regularly report back on the problems that this can cause – levels of anxiety and stress are significant. It is for this and many other reasons that our work is needed as much now as it ever was – and you can be sure it is work which changes lives.
One of the things that has become very clear to me over my time here has been the vital importance of the legacies we have received. Without the extraordinary generosity of our legacy givers, we simply could not support so many seafarers. Many of the legacies we receive now come from wills made long ago, when seafarers still had a high profile in the UK. Many people would have known a seafarer within their family or would have seen ships being built or repaired. Many had witnessed, first-hand, the incredible sacrifices made by seafarers in the great wars of the last century. There was a visibility about seafaring which kept our work in the public eye but, sadly, things are now very different.
The Future of legacy
We often talk about “sea-blindness”. For many, seafarers will have gone out of sight and out of mind. When buying food or clothes, filling up with petrol, tapping into our smart phones or taking our medicines, how many of us remember the ongoing sacrifices of 1.5 million seafarers who bring us more than 90% of everything we consume? These heroes and heroines, for so they are, literally sustain our daily lives. We badly need a new generation of legacy pledgers to recapture that seafarer vision, and change lives, as so many have done in the past. We hope that you will be amongst them.
If you do decide to leave us such a gift, it will be an act of kindness and generosity which will make a profound difference to an extraordinarily special group of people. The knowledge that you have left such a gift can also provide a proper sense of comfort and pride. Over the coming years, we would like the opportunity to keep in close touch with all those who have pledged to leave a legacy, so please do let us know if this is your intention. You will become part of our story, and indeed, in some tangible way, part of the magnificent story of our global seafaring community.
You can find out more about the details of legacy donations in the brochure, which you can download from the page below. If you want to talk further, please contact us on 0207 248 5202 or email [email protected]