Alan Whitehead MP has visited the new seafarers’ centre in the heart of the Southampton to hear about the work of local maritime charity Sailors’ Society.
The Southampton Test MP said: “Southampton port is a crucial part of our local economy, but most people don’t think about the 600,000 seafarers each year who pass through it to keep trade moving.
“Working at sea and spending months away from family can be incredibly tough – so it is great to see Sailors’ Society welcoming seafarers to the city and helping them to stay in touch with their loved ones.”
Sailors’ Society’s advocacy manager Jon Foster said: “We’re really proud of the seafarers’ centre and it was a pleasure to show Alan around and tell him about Sailors’ Society’s work.”
The centre on East Street opened in October 2017 and is staffed by volunteers.
Seafarers visiting the city can take time away from the busy port environment and access the centre’s free Wi-Fi.
“As the charity approaches its 200th anniversary, we are keen to highlight the key role seafarers play within the city,” Jon added.
Sailors’ Society was founded on 18 March 1818 to minister to the needs of destitute seafarers returning home from the Napoleonic Wars.
Based in Woolston, the charity works in 29 countries around the world.
It aims to transform the lives of seafarers and their families at home, in port and at sea through the delivery of chaplaincy, education and the relief of poverty and distress.