Liverpool Seafarers Centre is urging local families and businesses to show their support for Day of the Seafarer on Saturday June 26.
LSC CEO John Wilson said donations of fresh food and quality clothes to its centres in Crosby and Eastham have dropped off in recent months, as covid restrictions have eased, and he asked local people to remember seafarers by taking positive action.
“We know on Merseyside seafaring is appreciated and understood and we’d urge people to show they care around Day of the Seafarer,” he said. “Seafarers appreciate good quality clothes, even if they are second hand, as well as fruit, cakes and sweet food, puzzles and jigsaws. You can donate these goods anytime at our centres in Eastham on the Wirral and Crosby.”
Mr Wilson said its centres are continuing to see Ukrainian seafarers every day and the charity is helping many to apply to via UK Border Force to move home to Britain.
“It’s a desperately sad situation,” he said. “Seafarers have lost their homes, their families have fled Ukraine and they cannot go home. We are trying to listen and help them as much as we can.”
Mr Wilson said more widely the world’s 1.89 million seafarers are still suffering from covid restrictions.
“Although life on land may be getting back to some kind of normality we are seeing shipping lines stopping shore leave for crews,” he said. “May be a single crew member hasn’t been fully vaccinated and in this case none of the crew are allowed ashore. The measures can be very strict. But the effect is harsh on crews who benefit hugely from time ashore of the vessel. The challenge of being away from home in a small space at sea with the same small group of people is hard. The restrictions do need to be relaxed and more common sense applied with testing enabling seafarers to have some quality downtime. The reality, if they are forced to stay on board, is that they are constantly working with big responsibilities. And it is a particularly gruelling working regime for seafarers working on short sea feeder vessel journeys where opportunities for breaks even on board are limited. But generally, these overly strict covid measures can be counterproductive to well-being and mental health. The authorities need to tackle this urgently.”