They missed their Christmas to bring you yours.

Will you help more seafarers get the support they need this Christmas?

While most of us were opening stockings with excited children on Christmas morning and gathered with family and friends to share gifts and celebrate, hundreds of thousands of seafarers were a long way away from their loved ones.

Krystiyan from Ukraine was thousands of miles away at sea. He and his family lost everything they owned in the shelling. He says he has nothing to go back to.

And Igor from Russia wasn't at home with his mum, dad and elderly grandparents. He is a seafarer, not a soldier - and is afraid of being sent to fight.

The war in Ukraine has forced these families apart, but many more seafarers are separated from loved ones.

It has been nine years since Ittack has seen his wife and daughter. He is from Syria and would be forced to join the army if he returns home. Being a seafarer is one of only three exemptions to conscription.

And in the Philippines, Maria’s two young boys woke up on Christmas morning without their mum for a second time. She needed the money for her family and had to work.

As a mum and a daughter, I find these reports most difficult to read at this time of year. I saw another account from one of our chaplains as I wrote this letter, about a Filipino seafarer who hasn’t been home to celebrate Christmas with his family in 10 years. His three-year-old daughter was born on Christmas Day too, so he missed her birth and has never been with her for her birthday.

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers missed home this Christmas. And for almost one fifth of the world’s seafarers, missing home is compounded by anguish for family and friends affected by the war in Ukraine.

Could you give them the chance to speak with their loved ones or call our helpline if separation, anxiety or fear gets too much?


Donate online or by post


Buy a virtual gift for someone on your present list and benefit seafarers in need


Email us your personal message of support for seafarers


I know this Christmas will be tough financially for many. But I ask you to spare a thought for those far away from their children, their partners, their parents and their friends for many months at a time.

They missed their Christmas to bring us ours. More than 90 per cent of the goods we buy and use come to us by sea – including almost all of the Christmas presents we've given and received.

Missing home and family is bad enough, but there are other challenges at sea. They may face violent storms, may be the only one on their ship who speaks their language or they may get sick far away from a doctor or hospital.

We provide WI-FI units to enable seafarers to call home and our helpline ensures anyone who needs someone to talk to in times of need is never alone.

Our Crisis Response Network supported almost 1,000 seafarers last year. That’s nearly 20 every week.

And as Christmas approached, we saw an increase in seafarers reaching out to us online.

Can you help more seafarers get the support they need this Christmas?

This year you could give a donation or buy a virtual gift for someone on your present list helping seafarers like Krystiyan, Igor, Ittack and Maria. Your support could be a lifeline to a parent craving contact with their child at Christmas or someone in crisis and desperate for help.

And you can also email us at [email protected] with a message to a seafarer, letting them know they are in your thoughts and that they are not alone.

Your words and donation can make such a big difference to someone missing their Christmas this year.

On behalf of seafarers everywhere, I thank you and wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Sara Baade
Sailors' Society CEO

Your messages of support for seafarers

As an ex-seafarer in the merchant navy, I can understand how you must be feeling at this time of year when you are unable to join with our family and friends.

Coming from the City of Liverpool, I know and value sailors everywhere. I wish them health and the hope of reunion with their families in the near future.
Sylvia Ridgeway

I pray you will have a safe and blessed Christmas.
Ann Hills

May you have a safe journey and be home soon this Christmas.
Paul Morrish

Dear strong, courageous friend. May the message of Christmas give you hope for yourself and your family. Thank you for all your hard work - you are not forgotten. God bless you.
Elisabeth - a Wife, Mother and Grandmother.

I am truly grateful for the service you provide.
Marcia Cox

I appreciate what you do for our benefit. May the Lord Bless you richly in the name of Jesus.
Pat Wynne

I pray that you will all keep safe this Christmas.
Margaret Young

Thank you for all you do, we couldn't manage without you. I hope you are able to enjoy Christmas either with your fellow seafarers or at home with your family. And, most importantly, stay safe.
Pamela Hollinshead

Email us your personal message of support for seafarers.


Please help today

Your donation could put food on a table, ease financial stresses for a grieving family or keep a child in school.


could pay for a seafarer to see their family on screen with calls home this Christmas.


could pay for one of our chaplains to keep in touch with a crew away at sea for Christmas.


could pay for a counselling session for a seafarer in crisis this Christmas.

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