International maritime charity Sailors’ Society is celebrating after collecting two prestigious Safety at Sea Awards at a London ceremony on 18 October.
The charity’s Wellness at Sea e-learning programme won the best crew welfare programme award, while Manoj Joy, Sailors’ Society’s community development manager in Chennai, India, won the unsung hero award.
Sandra Welch, deputy CEO of Sailors’ Society, said, “We are so delighted to have received these awards and we are so grateful to IHS Markit for recognising the work we do.
“Seafarers are at the centre of world trade and these awards highlight how important it is that they be valued, supported and invested in.”
The best crew welfare programme award was awarded to the Wellness at Sea e-learning platform for helping to protect crew well-being and raising important issues impacting their safety.
The platform, launched earlier this year, is an online version of the Society’s Wellness at Sea coaching programme, which seeks to enable seafarers to improve their on board health and well-being by exploring five different aspects of wellness and the impact that they can have on the safe running of a ship.
Sandra said, “The Wellness at Sea e-learning platform gives thousands of seafarers the opportunity to learn how they can take control of their own well-being and lead more healthy, fulfilling lives.”
The evening’s host, round the world sailor, Conrad Humphreys, said, “Since its launch 1,800 seafarers have completed the e-learning programme and it is likely to reach large numbers of seafarers due to the flexibility of learning online.
“Eighty per cent of users strongly agree that the training will enable them to better handle situations on board.”
Manoj Joy won the unsung hero award for going above and beyond the call of duty to support seafarers, with judges calling him “selfless and brave”.
Manoj, a former seafarer, has dedicated himself to supporting seafarers for many years, through his work for Sailors’ Society and his magazine, Waves, which highlights issues of seafarer welfare.
Manoj was a key figure campaigning for justice for the crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio, who fought a four-year legal battle in India and were imprisoned, before finally having their convictions overturned last year.
Manoj was the main point of liaison for the Indian and Ukrainian seafarers in jail and their families and also acted as an advisor to the legal team.
Sandra said, “Manoj’s dynamism and vision for improving seafarers’ welfare has changed the lives of many seafarers across India, and we’re thrilled this has been recognised in this award.”
Sailors’ Society is continuing its welfare work through its first Wellness at Sea Week, from 4-10 November with a range of events and activities focused on crew wellness taking place around the world – culminating in a seminar and trek in Hong Kong.
To find out more, go to www.sailors-society.org/wellnessweek.