In these challenging pandemic times, the Mission remains on call day and night for 365 days a year, providing help for seafarers in over 200 ports around the world. In all our nine global regions, we have port chaplains and volunteers carrying out vital work delivering urgent and welcome welfare services to all seafarers. Never before has this been more needed, as so many thousands are still working long beyond their original contracts.
The pandemic world has presented many new challenges to the delivery of our front-line services and severely impacted on core activities such as ship visits and the welcoming of seafarers into our port centres. However, we have managed to maintain more than 40% of continuous ship visiting and centre services throughout this turbulent time.
The Mission has adapted quickly to the new realities all seafarers are having to endure. COVID 19 is still making it impossible for many seafarers to disembark, or chaplains to board ships, and many port centres remain out of bounds or closed. However, our teams have adapted their approaches and many gangway visits have enabled seafarers to receive vital supplies of medication and shopping which they would otherwise have gone without.
Thanks to the success of our Flying Angel Campaign, new services such as our highly successful 24/7 ‘Chat to a Chaplain’ service have extended our reach. Chaplains have also continued to talk to seafarers via social media channels, and when allowed on board, COVID 19 safe crew meetings.
The feedback and all the stories coming back from our Chaplains and frontline teams – and indeed from other sources, including ‘Chat to a Chaplain’ and our Seafarers Happiness Index, reflects the good work being done by the Mission teams. Seafarers can rest assured that there is always a trusted and dedicated person who they can access if they need support.
In essence, the Mission continues doing what we do best, we are bringing hope. Supporting seafarers and preparing for the better times that lie ahead.