Royston Smith MP was at Southampton docks recently to hear about the work of local maritime charity Sailors’ Society.
The MP went on board ships to meet seafarers with the charity’s Southampton port chaplain Jonathan Martin.
The Southampton Itchen MP said: “Southampton port is continuing to expand and handles around 950,000 vehicles a year and contributes over £1 billion to the UK economy annually, but many of us do not think about the 600,000 seafarers who come through the port and make all this possible”.
“I’m grateful to Jonathan for meeting me and arranging a tour of a number of ships to show me the invaluable welfare work provided by Sailors’ Society to seafarers visiting Southampton.”
Each year 14 million tonnes of commodities come through Southampton port.
Jonathan said: “90 per cent of everything we use on a daily basis comes by sea and the seafarers who transport it make great personal sacrifices.
“It was a pleasure to take Royston around the port and tell him about Sailors’ Society’s work.”
Sailors’ Society was founded on 18 March 1818 to minister to the needs of destitute seafarers returning home from the Napoleonic Wars.
The charity, which is based in Woolston, now 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.