Providing a personal lifeline

Supporting seafarers and their families at home, in port and at sea

Our mission is to meet the welfare and wellbeing needs of seafarers, their families and communities, wherever they may be.

Chaplaincy has always been at the core of our work but in recent years, we have expanded our horizons, developing programmes that support seafarers at home, their families and seafaring communities in need around the world.

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They are not alone

We reach out to 23,000 seafarers and their families every month through our chaplaincy and family support work, providing everything from free WiFi to call home and lifts to the doctor or shops, to welfare support and a listening ear.


Tackling the mental health crisis

We’ve been running our wellness and mental health training and support since 2015, empowering more than 34,000 seafarers to take care of their own wellbeing to date. With the onset of the pandemic, this provision is needed now more than ever.


Covid Care

Our Covid Care Kits and paramedic-led helplines are providing basic medicine and guidance for seafaring communities in India and the Philippines badly affected by the pandemic.


Connecting through the storm

We developed our Ship Connect service in response to the pandemic and companies’ concerns about crew welfare. Chaplains regularly contact ships, getting to know the seafarers on board and identifying any welfare issues early on.


Help in a crisis

Our Crisis Response Network (CRN) provides front-line trauma support to seafarers and their families through events such as accident, abandonment or natural disasters. In 2020, the CRN responded to an average of nine crises every month.



Our welfare, crisis and education grants support serving and retired seafarers, and their dependents, providing a vital lifeline in urgent situations such as repatriation costs for an abandoned crew, emergency medical fees, or help with course fees.


“My cadetship has been the best experience of my life and I would like to thank Sailors’ Society for their financial support and enabling me to start what I hope will be a long and rewarding career.”

Rachel Vassallo, cadet, UK

"Pauline [Sailors' Society's chaplain in Leith] helps us every day. She asks what we need and has been so much help to us."

Captain Gennadi Kukvinov, stranded with his crew in the port of Leith without pay

Mobile Medical Units

Working at sea is a major source of employment in India, but once seafarers retire they can become impoverished and cannot afford to access basic medical healthcare. Our Mobile Medical Units provide free check-ups and basic medical services.


Jakarta Medical Clinic

Indonesia’s busiest port, Tanjung Priok, sits in a deprived area of the capital, Jakarta. Our medical centre provides a heavily subsidised weekly clinic – the only access to healthcare for many living in this maritime community.


Seafarers can be away from home for up to a year at a time, which can have a huge impact on the families they leave behind. Our Philippines Seafarers’ Pupil’s Clubs help them get through.


Building for tomorrow

For years, we’ve invested in providing support and essential buildings for seafaring communities prone to natural disasters. Our most recent builds and WASH projects are benefitting more than 2,500 people in Lipayran (Philippines) and Yangon (Myanmar).


School ferry and library boats

Our dedicated school ferry and library boats are helping children in isolated Filipino seafaring communities to keep learning through the pandemic by taking schoolwork and teachers to them. Pre-pandemic the ferry boats transported pupils to school.


Our ground-breaking ShipVisitor app is used free of charge by 24 maritime welfare organisations, providing continuity of care as crew move from port-to-port. Chaplains can report and share data in real time, revolutionising port chaplaincy delivery.


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