Sailors' Society brings Christmas cheer to ports around the world Sailors' Society brings Christmas cheer to ports around the world

Press room

Sailors’ Society brings Christmas cheer to ports around the world

Bill McCrea handing out a Christmas gift to a seafarer visiting the Society's Seafarers' Centre in Southampton
Bill McCrea handing out a Christmas gift to a seafarer visiting the Society's Seafarers' Centre in Southampton

Sailors’ Society chaplains and volunteers have joined forces to bring some festive cheer to seafarers far from home this Christmas.

Every year, Sailors’ Society volunteers lovingly pack thousands of Christmas presents which are then handed out by the charity’s port chaplains to visiting seafarers.

Peter Donald, Sailors’ Society’s port chaplain for Dundee and Montrose said, “It is amazing how much joy our little gifts bring to the seafarers at Christmas. It is so good that there is a dedicated team of volunteers who make this possible. Last Christmas, I left a bag of gifts with a crew one morning and by lunch time I had a call from an emotional captain thanking me profusely for the presents.”

Sailors’ Society’s chaplains around the world know full well that seafaring can be a lonely career and so they will also continue to make ship and home visits throughout the festive season, offering a friendly face and support.

From the party for visiting Filipino seafarers in Montrose, Scotland, to the festivities in the seafarers’ centre in Deendayal, India, Sailors’ Society chaplains will be holding Christmas celebrations and services with seafarers in their local ports.

Peter said: “We know seafarers often face loneliness so a small gift and a friendly ear can go a long way, especially at Christmas time.

“We hope any seafarers in need will get in touch with us for help and wish all seafarers and their families a very Merry Christmas.”

If you are a seafarer in need of support, Sailors’ Society’s chaplains are here to help you and your family.

The charity’s port chaplains can offer a wide range of practical and spiritual support, from providing wi-fi and transport on arrival in port, to offering counselling and welfare grants. Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available to assist seafarers and their families experiencing a crisis incident at home, in port or at sea (email [email protected]). Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea programme includes a classroom based course, an online learning platform and a free to download Wellness at Sea app (www.sailors-society.org/wellness).