This Christmas.

Please help us be there for seafarers, wherever and whenever they need us

Christmas has always been a time when we want to be at home with loved ones.

But what if you will be spending Christmas thousands of miles from those you love?

What if a few moments on the phone is all you will get to share the festivities with them?

Will you help us ease the pain of separation this Christmas for seafarers across the globe?

Thanks to us, seafarers will have the chance to talk and share this Christmas with others who know what it is like to be away from family at the most important times in their lives.

Over the past four years, we have set up almost 100 Peer-to-Peer Support Groups that give seafarers the chance to connect with their peers, to chat and support one another.

With groups for general seafarers, female seafarers, captains, families and those caught up in the Ukraine conflict, they provide a much-needed community of new friends that can mean everything to those at sea this Christmas.

Our Peer-to-Peer Support Groups are part of Sailors’ Society’s 24/7 support system and so our group facilitators will be there in the chat to make sure anyone really struggling can get the extra help they might need.

Will you help us to ensure seafarers don’t have to make it through Christmas alone?

Christmas is always a time when seafarers and their families need our support - seafarers like Aadi, Marko and Tala:


“Christmas has always been a time for family and I will miss them so much this year,” Aadi, said.

Fighting back tears, the 23-year-old explains how he only graduated last year and has just started his second stint at sea.

He won’t be back home with those he loves again until April.

“I’m enjoying my job, but being away at Christmas is going to be really tough - it will be hard to be on my own.”

But, thanks to Sailors’ Society, Aadi won’t be on his own – others in the same situation will help him through.

Aadi joined our Peer-to-Peer Support Groups within weeks of going to sea for the first time.

“A couple of the crew were members and encouraged me to join. It was such a help in those first few months because I could reach out to seafarers all over the world and get their advice. They will make this Christmas bearable for me”


Marko has been away at sea for the past two Christmases.

Back home in Ukraine, his family lived close by and they would enjoy celebrating a traditional Ukrainian Christmas together.

But everyone has fled now; some to Poland, others to Hungary and Romania.

“Many of our homes, including mine, have been destroyed.

“But although I won’t be home at Christmas, this time of year always reminds me of being with my mum, my dad, my brothers, my nan and all our friends and neighbours.

“We loved Christmas and now we are apart and nobody knows when life will return to normal again.”

He added: “The Peer-to-Peer group for Ukrainian seafarers has been a real lifeline to me over the past two years. This Christmas, as always, I know I can reach out to others who are going through the same thing as me.”


Luckily, Tala is on a ship with good connectivity so she can call home often and will be able to watch her children open their gifts on a video call.

But the call will be short and she will spend the rest of Christmas separated from them, many thousands of
miles away.

“I have three children - my two boys aged 11 and nine, and my little girl aged six.

“Christmas is such a magical time for children and I cannot imagine how hard it will be to be apart from them this year.

“It’s my first Christmas away and I will miss them terribly.”

She is signing up to our Peer-to-Peer Support Groups after crew mates told her about them.

“As a woman at sea, I have had some tough times over my last two contracts and it will be so helpful to be able to turn to other female seafarers. They understand and we will be able to share experiences and help one another. We may be strangers, but there will be bond because we get how one another is feeling.”

Aadi, Marko and Tala are just three of 1.9 million seafarers, many of whom will be transporting your presents, your decorations and the food and drink you will share with friends and family over the coming weeks.

They may need our support and, if they do, we will be there for them.

Alongside the Peer-to-Peer Groups, our helpline, chaplaincy and Crisis Response Network will be there throughout the festive season available through every seafarer’s phone, while our award-winning wellness training will help equip them to face future Christmases separated from those they love.

Every one of us has a bond with these strangers at sea who will be away from loved ones this Christmas – without them, we wouldn’t have 90 per cent of everything we own and use – we need them and they need Sailors’ Society support.

Will you help us to be there for seafarers this Christmas?

could help pay for us to keep a family updated when a seafarer is in crisis

could help pay for an emergency welfare grant to support a seafarer and their family in financial difficulty

could help pay to staff our 24/7 helpline on Christmas Day

Today, more than ever, they need your help.

These stories and images are illustrative of seafarers in our Peer-to-Peer Support Groups

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