18 Apr


Sailors' Society looks to virtual future

18 Apr, 2023

Sailors’ Society is switching its focus to 24/7 virtual support for seafarers and their families across the world.

The charity’s global team will provide a virtual chaplaincy service available to all seafarers and their loved ones whenever and wherever they need support, whether they are many miles out to sea, in a busy port or at home recovering from illness or waiting for their next contract to begin. This will run alongside the Society’s 24/7 helpline and Crisis Response Network as well as its ground-breaking Peer-to-Peer support programme that has almost 80 groups and is still growing.

Its fully trained team will continue to be stationed all over the world, so they can answer calls and messages around the clock, speak in a variety of languages and still support face-to-face when needed in a crisis.

Sailors' Society will also be building on its hugely successful Wellness at Sea programme, which includes Ship Connect, wellness training, cadet conferences and a new e-learning platform. It is also revising and relaunching its acclaimed Wellness at Home programme so it can further support seafarer families across the globe.

Life at sea is changing with less time in port, smaller crews and a new generation of digital native seafarers who count on accessing services virtually. As an organisation, the Society has continually evolved over its 205-year history and adapted through many changes and challenging times both in the maritime and charity sector. It also learned a great deal from the pandemic when it had to find new ways of keeping in contact.

Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, said: “Having our whole support network in their phone means they, and their families, can get the care they need immediately, and we believe this is the future for seafarer welfare.

“Covid taught us many lessons in communicating virtually with the people we are here to serve – the world’s seafarers. These key workers of the sea are hugely resilient, but arguably at their most vulnerable out on the oceans, where they may be isolated, anxious about personal or family problems or exposed to violent storms or the threat of piracy. We will now be right there with them when they need us the most.

"Making our chaplaincy support virtual and instant to every seafarer who needs it ensures we – and they – remain fit for the future.”

Look out for Sailors' Society's new e-learning platform which launches next week.

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