New seafarer welfare centre opens in Port Talbot

5th March 2019

We’ve opened a new centre for seafarers in Port Talbot, significantly increasing our vital welfare service provision for seafarers calling at the port.

The new centre offers high-quality respite care to the hundreds of seafarers who visit the port each year, providing them with a place to relax, socialise, and connect with friends and family back home. The centre has been made possible thanks to a £35,000 grant from the Merchant Navy Welfare Board,

The centre provides seafarers with access to a number of modern facilities including free WIFI, games consoles, and a small shop selling snacks and essential items. For those who need it, emotional, spiritual and practical support will also be provided onsite by the port chaplain, centre manager, and volunteer staff.

Used by the nearby Tata Steelworks to import coal and iron ore, Port Talbot is one of the most significant ports in South Wales, and is one of the few in the UK capable of handling Capesize vessels of up to 170,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT).

Rev. Mark Lawson-Jones, Port Chaplain Wales, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Merchant Navy Welfare Board for their generous donation, and to all those involved in making this project happen.

“For a number of years now we’ve been struggling to provide adequate support to the increasing number of seafarers from around the world calling at Port Talbot, due to the limited size of the previous centre and a lack of modern facilities onsite. The new centre will enable us to provide a warm, friendly, and welcoming environment for the hundreds of seafarers who use the port – many of whom will have sailed for 30-40 days without a single stop and without any way of communicating with their loved ones. The centre’s free WIFI for all seafarers is a very important feature.”

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