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News Archive 2011

December 2011

Seafarers UK Supports Shipwrecked Mariners

This grant will support our work in alleviating financial need among former fishermen and merchant mariners and their dependants. Seafarers UK are the premier fundraising organisation that supports mariners.

 

This is no time to move even closer to the public sector

So says Society Chief Executive, Malcolm Williams, in his letter printed in ‘Third Sector’ 6 December.

He continues: “I am astonished that in last week’s editorial you seem to accept that it is the government’s job to devise the measurement metrics for the sector (29 November, page 14).

How many charities now regret getting into bed with the government over the past decade, to the detriment of their supporters?

And why, for that matter, should the sector bow to the dictates of New Philanthropy Capital over the business of measurement – is it simply because it has the money?

The third sector should challenge both. Collectively, they need us more than we need them.

 

November 2011

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society assists survivors of the Merchant vessel ‘Swanland’

“Our HA in Holyhead, John Cave, was asked by the Coastguard to assist the two Russian survivors of the crew of the coaster ‘Swanland’ that sank in rough seas in the Irish Sea off the Llyn peninsula in the early hours of the morning on Sunday 27th November. John arranged for B&B accommodation and clean clothing.”

 

October 2011

Impact measurement can distort our charitable aims

Chief Executive, Malcolm Williams argues against the emphasis on impact measurement for smaller charities in his ‘letter of the week’ published in Third Sector 18th October.

I can’t help thinking that the growing emphasis on impact measurement is driven by grant funders, large charities in search of grants and commercial organisations that see a way of making money. For smaller charities, the cost in time and money could be considerable. The charity sector needs to be careful that it isn’t following a fashion dictated by grant makers and government, which are staffed by people who have either a public or private sector ethos.

Following the money, as Cathy Pharoah says (27 September, page 13), can lead to distorted aims.

Perhaps the grant makers should be asked to prove we are not doing a good job. Clearly we need to know what impact we are having, but much of this is common sense judgement.

The nature of the problems we tackle are often intractable but have excited someone’s enthusism to try to solve them, however imperfectly. That is the essence of charity.

Malcolm Williams -Chief Executive

 

First underwater photography exhibition launched

Celebrities Back Celebrations of the Sea As Unique Exhibition Unveiled.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the oldest charities providing financial support to former seafarers, has officially unveiled a selection of images set to appear in its forthcoming ‘Celebrations of the Sea’ exhibition – the world’s first photography exhibition underwater featuring images of individuals whose lives are dominated by the ocean.

The unique exhibition, sponsored by canned seafood manufacturer John West, opens to the public on 21 October 2011 and will be displayed in living aquariums across the UK, featuring celebrities and every day people photographed carrying out their ‘day job’ but underwater.

Celebrities and personalities including TV presenter and historian Dan Snow, TV chef Mitch Tonks – one of the leading seafood chefs in the UK, TV wildlife presenter Ellie Harrison, world champion cliff diver Gary Hunt, UK surfing champion Tassy Swallow and world renowned yachtsman Mike Golding OBE will all feature in the exhibition, which is designed to showcase Britain’s reliance on the sea and those who work within the maritime sector.

All images in the exhibition have been produced by acclaimed marine photographer and TV Producer Kate Westaway, who in her career has pictured everything from the rarest marine life in waters across the globe to high profile stars including Angelina Jolie.

The exhibition opens at The Brighton Sea Life Centre – the world’s oldest operating aquarium – before touring Sea Life Centres across the UK. It will showcase the images submerged in tanks alongside living marine life including rays, conger eels and wolf fish.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive, Malcolm Williams, said: “Celebrations of the Sea’ is a unique and tremendously creative project which aims to honour the maritime industry’s unsung heroes. These include the fishermen who brave the UK’s stormiest seas, to traditional lobster pot makers who keep precious fishing traditions alive and our most talented chefs who turn the fish caught out at sea into the nation’s favourite dishes.

“We are delighted to have worked with a photographer of Kate’s calibre on this project and are looking forward to unveiling the full exhibition later this month. Hopefully it will go some way to not only showcasing the variety of professions involved with the sea in the UK today, but will help generate donations to the charity to help those former mariners who have given so much and are now in need of our support.

We would also like to thank our sponsors, John West and CEVA Logistics, without whom the exhibition wouldn’t have been possible.”

Over 95% of all Britain’s imports and exports are still transported by sea and the £37 billion UK maritime sector directly employs over 250,000 people – more than aerospace and agriculture combined. All donations generated from the exhibition will go to the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society to support the UK’s retired and impoverished seafarers in times of financial hardship.

In the last 12 months alone, 2,644 former seafarers across the country benefited from grants from the Society totalling over £1.5 million but help for this vulnerable community is very much in demand, particularly in the current harsh economic environment.

The exhibition will open to the public in Brighton at the Sea Life Centre on 21 October before moving onto the centres in Weymouth, Birmingham, Blackpool and Scarborough.

Sponsor John West is one of the UK’s leading brands in canned fish, trading in 38 markets throughout Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, North and South America. The company has been braving the elements to bring the country delicious, healthy, premium quality fish for over a century and is proactive in improving on-board conditions for fishermen.

John West is one of the UK’s leading seafood brands whose fleet of ships has been out in all weathers since 1857, catching only the finest wild fish. Today, they still fish the world’s oceans with their own fleets and fishermen which gives them an immense understanding of the difficulties faced by fishermen and the industry.

  • The exhibition will be open to the public at Sea Life Centres at the below locations and dates:
  • 21st October – 27th October Launch in Brighton
  • 15th November – 21st November Weymouth
  • 22nd November – 28th November Birmingham
  • 29th November – 5th December Blackpool
  • 6th December – 12th December Scarborough

Entry is free to people who have purchased a ticket to visit the Sea Life Centre. More information can be viewed on our Celebrations of the Sea page.

 

Cornish fisherman awarded for bravery

Skipper Honoured at Skill and Gallantry Awards after three day rescue.

A Newlyn-based fisherman and his crew battled for 7 hours through gale force winds to rescue 47 passengers and crew on a dismasted sailing ship drifting 100 miles south west of the Isles of Scilly has been presented with The Lady Swaythling Award for his skill and gallantry by HRH The Princess Royal.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s Skill and Gallantry Awards, made annually since 1851, recognise the UK’s unsung heroes who risk their lives in dangerous sea rescues or display outstanding seamanship skills.

Shaun Edwards, Skipper of fishing vessel NOVA SPERO and his crew had stopped fishing on the evening of 28th October 2010 due to deteriorating sea conditions when they heard a distress call from the Polish Tall ship Fryderyk Chopin. The ship had suffered the dismasting of its fore and main masts in heavy seas 100 miles south west of the Isles of Scilly.

Making the decision to attempt the rescue of the ship and her 11 crew and 36 fourteen-year- old Polish cadets, the crew of the Nova Spero – a vessel three times smaller than the Fryderyk Chopin – undertook the seven-hour passage to her aid in gale-force winds.

After arriving on the scene, it became clear that no other vessel had been able to establish a tow line. Despite the rough sea conditions and vanishing daylight the crew of the NOVA SPERO succeeded in setting up the tow, Then, for over 60 hours Shaun Edwards and his crew, Richard Nudd, David Fyfee and Lewis Diamond, towed the Tall ship 150 miles to Falmouth in heavy seas and strong winds, finally arriving safely in Carrick Roads on the 1st November.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN said: “Shaun Edwards and his crew, Richard Nudd, David Fyfee and Lewis Diamond displayed superb seamanship and selfless bravery in treacherous conditions. The rescue demonstrated all that is best in the seafaring tradition.”

“The Society’s annual October Skill and Gallantry Awards are an important event in the maritime calendar and a chance to honour all those unsung heroes who risk their lives everyday to keep seafarers and members of the public safe. Every year I am struck by the qualities of the men and women who are nominated and the courage they display in helping those in distress at sea.”

 

Somerset air crew honoured for rescue

Crew of HMS CHATHAM’s Lynx Helicopter recognised at Skill and Gallantry Awards.

The crew from 815 Squadron based at Yeovilton have been honoured for their skill and gallantry after undertaking a dangerous sea rescue in the wake of a tropical cyclone.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s Awards for Skill and Gallantry, which have been made by the Society since 1851, recognise the UK’s unsung heroes who risk their lives in dangerous sea rescues.

On 21st May 2010, the crew of HMS CHATHAM’s Lynx helicopter responded to a distress call from the merchant ship MV Dubai Moon whose cargo of cars and trucks had broken free when she was caught in the centre of a tropical storm in the Indian Ocean. Rolling heavily, the ship was unable to manoeuvre and at risk of sinking along with her 23 crew members.

While Flight Commander Lieutenant Commander Peter Higgins AFC fought to maintain a steady hover with the expert assistance of Lieutenant Craig Castle of the Royal Australian Navy, Air Engineering Technician Richard Wilmot, a newly qualified winchman, was lowered onto the vessel where he successfully recovered the first crew man from the oily rolling deck.

Richard Wilmot became violently ill on his return to the aircraft following his extreme physical exertion and the recurrence of previous sickness. Lieutenant Commander Graham Chesterman, who was visiting HMS CHATHAM and conducting an aviation audit and who had not flown for 15 years, was asked to take over.

Lieutenant Chesterman went on to conduct a total of 22 difficult and physically exhausting transfers over three hours displaying skill and courage in dangerous conditions. The crew of the HMS CHATHAM’s Lynx helicopter were awarded The Edward and Maisie Lewis Award at the Society’s ceremony for their outstanding teamwork and courage and Lieutenant Chesterman was also awarded an individual commendation for his bravery.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN said: “Lieutenant Commander Graham Chesterman and the crew of HMS CHATTAM’s Lynx helicopter showed outstanding professionalism, superb teamwork and courage in rescuing the crew of the MV Dubai Moon. The rescue demonstrated all that is best in the seafaring tradition.

“The Society’s annual October Skill and Gallantry Awards are an important event in the maritime calendar and a chance to honour all those unsung heroes who risk their lives to keep seafarers and members of the public safe. Every year I am struck by the qualities of the men and women who are nominated and the courage they display in helping those in distress at sea. We have received some worthy nominations this year and found it hard to choose the recipients of each award but the winners do our seafaring community proud.”

 

Volunteer receives award for outstanding service

An Aberdeen man has received the Lord Lewin Award.

Superintendent Mike Sandison, who worked at sea as a steward for several years before joining the Fishermen’s Mission in 1986, supports over 100 regular beneficiaries of the Society as well as ministering to a wider group of both working and retired fishermen and their dependants.

During the last three years alone, Mike has dealt with over 70 new applications for assistance, reviewed 85 cases and has conducted twice-yearly grant payments. He has spent a total of 25 years supporting seafarers in need.

Mike is described by those that he works with as quietly-spoken, self-effacing and diligent – with a famous sense of humour – and always builds a good rapport with the Society’s beneficiaries.

On receiving his award, Mike said: “I’m thrilled to receive this honour from the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. I’m quite taken aback! It’s amazing to receive recognition for what I see as just doing my job – I began working with the Society through the Fishermen’s Mission 25 years ago and I enjoy my role very much. I love working with people and it’s lovely to help those in need receive grants to make their lives just that little bit easier.”

Founded in 1839 the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society aims to provide financial help to merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependents who are in need. Support is provided to ex-seafarers or their widows, either as regular grants or as one-off payments to meet particular needs. For more information on the Society visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

The Lord Lewin Award is presented to the Honorary Agent who has made a significant contribution to the work of the Society.

 

September 2011

John West sponsors Celebrations of the Sea

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Announces Sponsor for its Exhibition of Underwater Photography

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the UK’s oldest charities supporting impoverished former seafarers, has announced canned seafood manufacturer John West as its headline sponsor of the ‘Celebrations of the Sea’ project, the world’s first photography exhibition underwater.

The unique exhibition features photographs of individuals whose lives are dominated by the sea, including a number of celebrities such Mike Golding, one of the worlds most accomplished sailors, who has lent his support to the project. All the subjects are photographed carrying out their ‘day job’ but underwater.

John West is one of the UK’s leading seafood brands whose fleet of ships has been out in all weathers since 1857, catching only the finest wild fish. Today, they still fish the world’s oceans with their own fleets and fishermen which gives them an immense understanding of the difficulties faced by fishermen and the industry.

Asanka De Silva, Marketing Controller from John West, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the ‘Celebrations of the Sea’ exhibition. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our own connection with the sea, whilst helping to raise money for a worthwhile cause. This exhibition is a really imaginative way of bringing to life the experiences of all mariners – from fishermen to sailors – in a way that everyone can enjoy and we expect there to be lots of interest and engagement as the exhibition tours around the UK.”

The sponsorship from John West is supported by supply chain management company CEVA Logistics, which is providing its vehicles to transport the images around the different locations.

The exhibition is a collection of images taken underwater by photographer and TV Producer Kate Westaway. The Bristol based photographer has pictured everything from the rarest marine life in waters across the globe to high profile stars like Angelina Jolie on the set of Tomb Raider II. The exhibition will tour the UK at a number of Sea Life Centres where the images can be viewed submerged in various tanks.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive, Malcolm Williams, said: “‘Celebrations of the Sea’ aims to honour the maritime industry’s unsung heroes from the fishermen who brave the UK’s stormiest seas, to traditional lobster pot makers who keep precious fishing traditions alive and our most talented chefs who turn the fish caught out at sea into the nation’s favourite dishes. We are incredibly grateful for the support shown to the Society from headline sponsor John West, logistics provider CEVA and Sea Life for providing venues for the exhibition.”

The project aims to raise the profile of the UK maritime sector and its importance to the UK economy where it directly employs over 250,000 people, more than aerospace and agriculture combined, and has a £37 billion turnover. Over 95% of all Britain’s imports and exports go by sea and fifty million people travel to, from and around the UK by ferry each year.

All donations generated from the exhibition will go to the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society to support its work on behalf of retired and impoverished seafarers and their families in times of financial hardship.
With a volunteer network of over 200 Honorary Agents throughout the British Isles, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society handles several hundred new applications for assistance each year, distributing over £1.5 million to over 2,600 cases of need in the last 12 months.

The exhibition will launch in Brighton at the Sea Life Centre on 20th October where it will stay until 27th October before moving onto the centres in Weymouth, Birmingham, Blackpool and Scarborough in November and December.

Notes to Editors – About the exhibition…

The exhibition will be open to the public at Sea Life Centres at the below locations and dates. Entry is free to people who have purchased a ticket to visit the Sea Life Centre.

  • 21st October – 27th October Launch in Brighton
  • 15th November – 21st November Weymouth
  • 22nd November – 28th November Birmingham
  • 29th November – 5th December Blackpool
  • 6th December – 12th December Scarborough

More information about the exhibition, its sponsors and those featured in Kate Westaway’s photographs can be found on the Celebrations of the Sea page.

 

Announcement

Details of the 172nd Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society AGM announced.

The One Hundred and Seventy Second Annual General Meeting of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society will be held at Fishmongers’ Hall, London EC4 (by kind permission of the Company) on Tuesday, 4th October 2011 at 2.30pm.

Members and friends of the Society wishing to attend should notify The Chief Executive at Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, 1 North Pallant, Chichester PO19 1TL

 

August 2011

Cheques victory for local charity

Political victory for local charity.

Local maritime charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society which supports retired and impoverished seafarers, is celebrating this week after its vigorous campaign to halt the proposed abolition of cheques.

The Charity, along with other organisations, has been instrumental in a lobbying campaign objecting to the move, which it said would have had a very serious impact on donation income and those receiving its support.

However following a determined campaign by the Society’s Chief Executive Commodore Malcolm Williams, which has included numerous letters to the press and a meeting with Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie MP, the Payments Council has announced that cheques will stay.

Commodore Williams commented: “We are delighted with the news that cheques will remain in circulation and relieved that we will be able to continue to provide the best support to our beneficiaries. Given that the charitable objective of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is the relief of poverty, this is not the time to be faced with a reduction of income. Around sixty percent of all our donations and sales are by cheque.

“But the issue goes beyond a purely financial one. Cheques serve a greater purpose for our charity. We pay the majority of our beneficiaries by cheque and this allows face-to-face contact between them and volunteers who are able to identify any additional needs or provide advice. It was also getting to be a worry to many people who have always used cheques, to people who are unable to get out of their homes, to those living remotely and some disabled people. On many levels it was an ill-conceived move by the banks that failed to take into account how people actually live.

“This is a great victory for charities and small businesses all over the country who rely heavily on cheques for payment and income.” But Malcolm Williams sounds a note of caution. “I hope we will not see the banks getting rid of cheques by stealth by making it more difficult or expensive to get and use chequebooks.”

The Society, which celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year, received 729 new applications for assistance last year and helped in 2,644 cases of need, distributing grants totalling £1.5 million. Donations from the public are vital to its work.

Information about the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society can be found at www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

 

July 2011

Sir Julian Oswald GCB Remembered

“It is with deep regret that we record the death of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Julian Oswald GCB the Society’s President from 2001-2006. He was a great friend and supporter of our work.”

 

Fisherman’s Friends Perform

Nationally Acclaimed Sea Shanty Group Raise Money for The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society in Port Isaac.

A group of Cornish sea shanty singers, who were propelled to stardom after their album reached the UK top 10, are performing on Port Isaac beach to raise money for the UK’s retired and impoverished seafarers on July 15.

Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends performed this year to a massive crowd on the main stage at Glastonbury this year, but have set aside time to appear at a more modest fundraising event in their home town to support the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has been supporting the seafaring community in Cornwall for over 172 years. In the last 12 months, grants totalling over £1.5 million were distributed to former seafarers in 2,650 cases of need throughout the UK.

The event has been organised by Dugald Sproull, the Society’s honorary agent for Port Isaac, who knows the group personally through his involvement in the area’s fishing community and as chairman of the Port Isaac Harbour Commission.

Commenting on the event, he said: “Since some of the group are fishermen themselves and understand the financial difficulties that fishermen can face in retirement, the charity seemed like the perfect choice for their fundraising activity.”

Hundreds of people from Port Isaac and the surrounding areas are expected to attend the performance on The Platt in Port Isaac which will generate essential funds for the Society which relies heavily on public donations.

“The Society has an historical tradition in Port Isaac going back to 1860 and has been supporting fishermen ever since. I took over the role of honorary agent in 1992 from my mother who had supported the Society since 1944 said Mr Sproull.”

Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, said: “We are delighted that Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends are supporting the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. Being fishermen themselves, they understand the risks of working at sea and the struggle many mariners retiring on meagre pensions often face.”

All the funds raised from the performance will make a real difference to the quality of life of former seafarers and their families held several concerts and made numerous TV appearances, including an ITV1 documentary about their rise to fame which aired last week. However their forthcoming performance at Glastonbury will be their most prestigious event yet.

 

June 2011

Cheque donations vital

Our Chief Executive Commodore Malcolm Williams has written extensively about how a potential abolition of cheques could affect charitable donations, particularly those made by the older generation. These letters have appeared in The Times and charity trade title Third Sector.

 

Challenge Walk

Calling on schools to take a CHALLENGE and go walk about, at the same time as raising money for a good cause. June 6th to 12th is Seafarers.

Awareness Week and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is committed to this national campaign within the maritime charity community to promote our work on behalf of seafarers and their families, and to help raise the profile of the dangers and sacrifices faced by those who work at sea, whilst at the same time acknowledging the vital contribution the maritime and fishing industries play in allowing us all to enjoy our standard of living.

To end the summer term on a high note, The Society is setting a CHALLENGE to schools that guarantees fun at no additional cost. An educational adventure for all the ages, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society wants children to learn about the crucial role seafarers play in our day to day lives, so schools taking part can use the Challenge as a National Curriculum project or subject topic.

The CHALLENGE can take place any time to suit the schools between now and 29 July 2011. Pupils are encouraged to donate £1 to take part and photos, anecdotes and tales from the events are welcomed. Easy to organise, the CHALLENGE has a pre-planned route in the Isle of Wight, Jersey, Lynmouth and Weymouth that will include visits to the Society’s ex-WW11 collecting box mines which were donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the support the Charity gave to seafarers during the war years.

“With the school holidays just around the corner and warm weather with us, the CHALLENGE is an ideal way to end the summer term,” said Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, CBE RN. “As an island nation, we are extremely reliant on our seafarers and we hope the Challenge Walks will prove an interesting and fun event. We hope children will enjoy learning about one of the industries that has contributed so much to our economy. Once completed all schools who have raised money for the Society will receive a certificate as a record of their endeavours.”

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society was founded in 1839 and exists to provide relief to the seafaring, and ex-seafaring community. As well as helping in the event of a shipwreck – and they do still happen – its main function today is offering financial support to retired or elderly seafarers and widows who have fallen on hard times. Last year, the Society made grant payments totalling over £1.6 million to beneficiaries in one off or regular grants.

Taking part in the CHALLENGE is free and easy to enter. To request an information pack please call 01243 789 329 or visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

 

Set sail for seafarers in need

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on all sailors in the West Country to support its work on behalf of ex-merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependants who are facing hardship and distress, by taking part in the Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit.

Open to leisure yachtsmen in the South West, the 26 mile sailing marathon taking place on 16th July around the Hand Deeps Buoy, west of Eddystone, gives participants the chance to test their sailing skills whilst raising money for a worthy cause such as the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which offers financial support to retired and incapacitated seafarers, wants to encourage sailors in Plymouth to use the Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit as an opportunity to raise money for the charity.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, said: “Our work involves supporting retired and incapacitated seafarers who have devoted their lives to the sea. Unfortunately they often retire on meagre incomes and rely on financial help from us to make their later years just a little more comfortable. An event such as the Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit is a chance for sailors to give something back to others from within the seafaring community by encouraging friends and family to sponsor their participation.”

In the last 12 months the Society helped seafarers in 2,750 cases of need, distributed grants totalling over £1.6 million and helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

The organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year – the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, particularly in the current harsh economic environment.

Now in its 10th Year, the Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit refers to itself as a ‘chase’ rather than a race, with yachts starting at intervals based broadly on their Portsmouth Yardstick.

More than £170,000 has been raised for numerous charities through the event, which is supervised by Plymouth’s historic Royal Western Yacht Club and organised by Eddystone Charitable Trust.

Entrants must raise a minimum of £50 sponsorship to take part. The event takes place on 16th July so those wishing to take part should get their applications in soon.

For further details about the Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit visit www.eddystonepursuit.org or for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

 

Montrose Coastguard

A former Montrose coastguard turned volunteer for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which supports retired and incapacitated seafarers, is calling on impoverished seafarers in the area to come forward for support.

Darryl White, 63, from St. Cyrus, is one of the Society’s most dedicated volunteers, having spent 20 years supporting local retired mariners and even campaigning on the Society’s behalf when a WWII mine used as a collection box for the organisation was threatened with removal.

Financial support is already being given to a number of former mariners living locally who are struggling to survive on meagre incomes, but Mr White believes there are many more retired seafarers who are too proud to ask for help, and as such he has recruited two new volunteers from the Coastguard to help reach out to them.

“One of my responsibilities as an honorary agent for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is to help mariners and their families who have fallen into problems with money, been injured or have been left struggling financially after the death of a loved one,”

Said Mr White. “The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society can give them that little bit of extra help, whether that be paying electricity bills, providing a new fridge or in some cases supplying a regular grant to help make life easier. It’s amazing to see the difference it makes.”

The two new recruits are Graham Mitchell, who will focus his efforts on supporting mariners living in Stonehaven and Catterline, and Dougie McLean who will be responsible for the Society’s work in Montrose.

Mr White added: “Montrose and the surrounding areas have a very large community of retired seafarers, many of whom may be suffering in silence, unaware that there is support out there which can make an enormous difference to their quality of life. With the help of my two new recruits I hope to be able to extend the influence of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society and help to repay the debt owed to our fishermen and mariners.”

Mr White made a name for himself when he robustly defended the right of the Society to keep its large WWII collecting mine in a prominent position in the centre of Montrose, after a local councillor claimed it was in an eyesore and should be cleaned up or removed.

The former Coastguard mounted a stout defence by way of talks to local community groups and generated a significant amount of media coverage outlining the importance of the mine to the maritime community, not only as a reminder of the sacrifice made by seamen during the wars but also as a continuing source of support.

The campaign was a success and the mine has remained in Montrose high street ever since where it continues to raise money for seafarers in need.

In the last 12 months the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has helped seafarers in 2,650 cases of need and distributed grants totalling £1.5 million. They also helped beneficiaries access £45,000 in Government benefits.

However the organisation received 729 new applications for assistance last year showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, in part due to the current harsh economic environment.

Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, said: “The efforts of volunteers like Darryl are absolutely crucial to help us carry out our work and support seafarers in need. Our honorary agents act as the eyes and ears in local communities up and down the country to ensure retired mariners and their families are receiving the support they are entitled to.”

 

Jersey Schools – Are You Up To The Challenge?

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities is calling on schools in Jersey to take a CHALLENGE and go walk about, at the same time as raising money for a good cause. June 6th to 12th is Seafarers Awareness Week and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is committed to this national campaign within the maritime charity community to promote our work on behalf of seafarers and their families, and to help raise the profile of the dangers and sacrifices faced by those who work at sea, whilst at the same time acknowledging the vital contribution the maritime and fishing industries play in allowing us all to enjoy our standard of living.

To end the summer term on a high note, The Society is setting a CHALLENGE to local schools that guarantees fun at no additional cost. An educational adventure for all the ages, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society wants children to learn about the crucial role seafarers play in our day to day lives, so schools taking part can use the Challenge as a National Curriculum project or subject topic.

The CHALLENGE can take place any time to suit the schools between now and 29 July 2011. Pupils are encouraged to donate £1 to take part and photos, anecdotes and tales from the events are welcomed. Easy to organise, the CHALLENGE Walk has a pre-planned route that will include a visit to the Society’s ex-WW11 collecting box mines in Gorey and St Helier which were donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the support the Charity gave to seafarers during the war years.

“With the school holidays just around the corner and warm weather with us, the Jersey schools CHALLENGE is an ideal way to end the summer term,” said Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, CBE RN. “As an island nation, we are extremely reliant on our seafarers and we hope the Maritime theme features heavily in all events. The schools are all on, or near the coast, so we hope children will enjoy learning about one of the industries that has contributed so much to Jersey. Once completed all schools who have raised money for the Society will receive a certificate as a record of their endeavours.”

The walk, designed to provide outdoor fun, is approximately three miles long. The route has been set to walk from Gorey, passing Grouville Church to St Helier where the second mine is situated on the New North Quay, near the Steam Clock.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society was founded in 1839 and exists to provide relief to the seafaring, and ex-seafaring community. As well as helping in the event of a shipwreck – and they do still happen – its main function today is offering financial support to retired or elderly seafarers and widows who have fallen on hard times. Last year, the Society made grant payments totalling over £1.6 million to beneficiaries in one off or regular grants.
Taking part in the CHALLENGE is free and easy to enter. To request an information pack please call 01243 789 329.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Jersey Challenge

  • Drive to the first mine in Gorey (on the harbour) and begin the walk from here.
  • From Gorey, take the inner road to St Helier, passing Grouville Church – keep followings sign posts to St Helier.
  • When you reach the road tunnel, use the pedestrian walk way and the steam clock will be dead ahead.
  • In St Helier, you’ll find the mine situated on the New North Quay, near the Steam Clock.

The alternative and longer route is via the coast road (below)

  • South of Gorey Harbour, as you walk along the beach or edge of the common you pass the Royal Jersey Golf Club. The square tower is known as
  • Fort Henry, built by Marshall Conway, Governor in the late 18th century (he was also responsible for Jersey’s numerous round towers).
  • The last stretch of coast into St Helier is lined with residential housing. It’s an attractive route that’s flat and paved, but if you want to give it a miss you can always hop on a bus to the town centre.
  • From the New North Quay you can walk towards the mine in West Park, going past les Jardins de la Mer, a distance of some 400/500 yards.

Alternately get the bus straight back to Gorey. Bus timetables can be obtained by texting the bus stop code (displayed on the road) to 66556 and you will be sent a text when the next bus is due.

The whole walk, from Gorey to West Park and back is about 10 miles.

The route can be shortened by taking the bus between St Clement and St Helier. The full 10 mile walk will take about 4.5 hours and the walking is medium due to some beach walking.

 

Weymouth Schools – Are You Up To The Challenge?

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities is calling on schools in Weymouth to take a CHALLENGE and go walk about, at the same time as raising money for a good cause. June 6th to 12th is Seafarers Awareness Week and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is committed to this national campaign within the maritime charity community to promote its work on behalf of seafarers and their families, and to help raise the profile of the dangers and sacrifices faced by those who work at sea, whilst at the same time acknowledging the vital contribution the maritime and fishing industries play in allowing us all to enjoy our standard of living.

To end the summer term on a high note, the Society is setting a CHALLENGE to local schools that guarantees fun at no additional cost. An educational adventure for all the ages, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society wants children to learn about the crucial role seafarers play in our day to day lives, so schools taking part can use the Challenge as a National Curriculum project or subject topic.

The CHALLENGE can take place any time to suit the schools between now and 29 July 2011. Pupils are encouraged to donate £1 to take part and photos, anecdotes and tales from the events are welcomed. Easy to organise, the CHALLENGE Walk has a pre-planned route that will include a visit to the Society’s ex-WW11 collecting box mines in Weymouth which were donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the support the Charity gave to seafarers during the war years.

“With the school holidays just around the corner and warm weather with us, the Weymouth schools CHALLENGE is an ideal way to end the summer term,” said Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, CBE RN. “As an island nation, we are extremely reliant on our seafarers and we hope the Maritime theme features heavily in all events. The schools are all on, or near the coast, so we hope children will enjoy learning about one of the industries that has contributed so much to the Weymouth. Once completed all schools who have raised money for the Society will receive a certificate as a record of their endeavours.”

The Walk route, designed to provide outdoor fun, is approximately three miles long. The route is a walk around Weymouth, using the Weymouth Town walk, visiting the first mine located on the Esplanade. For those wanting an extra activity there is a second mine located in the Sea Life Centre, located in Lodmoor Country Park, providing a great day out.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society was founded in 1839 and exists to provide relief to the seafaring, and ex-seafaring community. As well as helping in the event of a shipwreck – and they do still happen – its main function today is offering financial support to retired or elderly seafarers and widows who have fallen on hard times. Last year, the Society made grant payments totalling over £1.6 million to beneficiaries in one off or regular grants.
Taking part in the CHALLENGE is free and easy to enter. To request an information pack please call 01243 789 329.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Weymouth Town Walk

  • The walk takes approximately 2 hours, although it can take longer with time spent at the attractions along the way. Learn about Weymouth’s fascinating history as you walk.
  • From the Tourist Information Centre when facing out to sea, turn right and follow the Esplanade towards the Pavilion Theatre, the building at the end of the Esplanade with the green roof.
  • From the Pavilion, follow the harbour along Custom House Quay.
  • As you continue to walk along the harbour it was hereabouts that a trading vessel berthed in 1348, which brought the Black Death to England. You are now standing on the old quay, which met the water at the deep step above the present roadway.
  • As you reach the Town Bridge climb the steps to your right and cross over the bridge.
  • Once across the bridge turn left and continue along Trinity Road where the elegant bow-fronted houses date from the late 18th to early 19th centuries Continue along the Harbourside to the town pump, re-erected here and once an essential part of town life.
  • From the Town pump continue along the terrace cottages of Cove Row. On to Hope Street which was once on the water’s edge of the “ope” or cove which ran back into what is now Hope Square.
  • Continue along the Harbourside past Nothe Parade. Continue along the path passing the Lifeboat Station and shop.
  • From the Harbourside take one of a number of flights of steps up towards Nothe Fort
    With the fort in front of you turn to your right and follow the path through along Elizabethan Way through the gardens and along Jubilee Walk.
  • At some steps turn right up the steps and follow the road to the corner. Continue down Horsford Street. At the bottom of the hill turn right into Hope Square.
  • On leaving Hope Square bear to your left up the steep hill, at the top turn right into Herbert Place, then turn right in to Hartlebury Terrace.
  • From here follow the path to left into Trinity Terrace.
  • At the end of Trinity Terrace there are good views over Weymouth Marina and towards the Ridgeway in the distance. Turn right here and walk down the steps behind the church to the bottom.
  • Trinity Church is now in front of you. At the bottom of the steps you will see you are back at the Town Bridge.
  • From the Town Bridge cross over past the job centre and turn left into Lower St Edmond Street. Continue to the end of the street then cross the road and turn right joining the new Harbourside Walkway.
  • On reaching the bridge turn to your right and cross Commercial road and follow Westham Road back to the seafront and the Tourist Information Centre.

 

Isle of Wight Schools – Are You Up To The Challenge?

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities is calling on schools on the Isle of Wight to take a CHALLENGE and go walk about, at the same time as raising money for a good cause. June 6th to 12th is Seafarers Awareness Week and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is committed to this national campaign within the maritime charity community to promote our work on behalf of seafarers and their families, and to help raise the profile of the dangers and sacrifices faced by those who work at sea, whilst at the same time acknowledging the vital contribution the maritime and fishing industries play in allowing us all to enjoy our standard of living.

To end the summer term on a high note, The Society is setting a CHALLENGE to local schools that guarantees fun at no additional cost. An educational adventure for all the ages, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society wants children to learn about the crucial role seafarers play in our day to day lives, so schools taking part can use the Challenge as a National Curriculum project or subject topic.

The CHALLENGE can take place any time to suit the schools between now and 29 July 2011. Pupils are encouraged to donate £1 to take part and photos, anecdotes and tales from the events are welcomed. Easy to organise, the CHALLENGE Walk has a pre-planned route that will include a visit to two of the Society’s ex-WW11 collecting box mines in Shanklin and Sandown which were donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the support the Charity gave to seafarers during the war years.

“With the school holidays just around the corner and warm weather with us, the Isle of Wight schools CHALLENGE is an ideal way to end the summer term,” said Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, CBE RN. “As an island nation, we are extremely reliant on our seafarers and we hope the Maritime theme features heavily in all events. The schools are all on, or near the coast, so we hope children will enjoy learning about one of the industries that has contributed so much to the Isle of Wight. Once completed all schools who have raised money for the Society will receive a certificate as a record of their endeavours.”

The Walk route, designed to provide outdoor fun, has been set to walk between both mines and back again. It is approximately four miles long and takes in the cliff lift at Shanklin for those who don’t want to climb a lot of steps. Beginning at the mine in Sandown, walkers will follow the promenade for the outward route, and return via the upper coastal walk.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society was founded in 1839 and exists to provide relief to the seafaring, and ex-seafaring community. As well as helping in the event of a shipwreck – and they do still happen – its main function today is offering financial support to retired or elderly seafarers and widows who have fallen on hard times. Last year, the Society made grant payments totalling over £1.6 million to beneficiaries in one off or regular grants.

Taking part in the CHALLENGE is free and easy to enter. To request an information pack please call 01243 789 329,
Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Isle of Wight Challenge
The walk between the two mines on the Isle of Wight is a circular route of approximately four miles.
Beginning at the mine in Sandown, follow the promenade for the outward route, and return via the upper coastal walk.
The route takes in the cliff lift at Shanklin for those who don’t want to climb a lot of steps.
The route can also be done in reverse, whichever the preference.

 

Lynmouth Schools – Are You Up To The Challenge?

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities is calling on schools in Lynmouth to take a CHALLENGE and go walk about, at the same time as raising money for a good cause. June 6th to 12th is Seafarers Awareness Week and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is committed to this national campaign within the maritime charity community to promote our work on behalf of seafarers and their families, and to help raise the profile of the dangers and sacrifices faced by those who work at sea, whilst at the same time acknowledging the vital contribution the maritime and fishing industries play in allowing us all to enjoy our standard of living.

To end the summer term on a high note, The Society is setting a CHALLENGE to local schools that guarantees fun at no additional cost. An educational adventure for all the ages, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society wants children to learn about the crucial role seafarers play in our day to day lives, so schools taking part can use the Challenge as a National Curriculum project or subject topic.

The CHALLENGE can take place any time to suit the schools between now and 29 July 2011. Pupils are encouraged to donate £1 to take part and photos, anecdotes and tales from the events are welcomed. Easy to organise, the CHALLENGE Walk has a pre-planned route that will include a visit to the Society’s ex-WW11 collecting box mines in Lynmouth and Glen Lyn Gorge which were donated by the Admiralty in recognition of the support the Charity gave to seafarers during the war years.

“With the school holidays just around the corner and warm weather with us, the Lynmouth schools CHALLENGE is an ideal way to end the summer term,” said Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, CBE RN. “As an island nation, we are extremely reliant on our seafarers and we hope the Maritime theme features heavily in all events. The schools are all on, or near the coast, so we hope children will enjoy learning about one of the industries that has contributed so much to Lynmouth. Once completed all schools who have raised money for the Society will receive a certificate as a record of their endeavours.”

The walk, designed to provide outdoor fun, is approximately three miles long. The route has been set to walk through the village along Lynmouth Street into Riverside Road and on along the Esplanade to Glen Lyn Gorge making a great day out for all ages.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society was founded in 1839 and exists to provide relief to the seafaring, and ex-seafaring community. As well as helping in the event of a shipwreck – and they do still happen – its main function today is offering financial support to retired or elderly seafarers and widows who have fallen on hard times. Last year, the Society made grant payments totalling over £1.6 million to beneficiaries in one off or regular grants.
Taking part in the CHALLENGE is free and easy to enter. To request an information pack please call 01243 789 329.

Lynmouth to Glen Lyn Gorge

This walk starts at the Rhenish Tower in Lynmouth, which is just on the Harbour Front and home to the first collection mine.

To reach the second mine, keep walking through the village along Lynmouth Street into Riverside Road and on along the Esplanade to Glen Lyn Gorge. This is as great attraction, particularly for children who can learn about renewable energy – and more importantly, home to the second Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society collection mine

If Glen Lyn Gorge isn’t your thing, there is also a lovely play area located on Manor Green which is just over the river from Main Street – cross over the little bridge and you can’t miss it. The walk to Glen Lyn Gorge and back will take around half an hour.

To extend the walk, take the Cliff Railway up into Lynton.

  • On exiting the railway turn right and go up Lee Road which leads into the Valley of the Rocks. Here you’ll find a lovely tea room called Mother Meldrum’s which has a lovely outdoor area – perfect for a quick break.
  • On exiting Mother Meldrum’s, keep going on the same path which leads around the edge of the cliff and eventually turns into the South West Coast Path.
  • Keep following this path and you’ll see signs for Lynmouth taking you back to your starting location.

Nearest toilets – Lynmouth

Further information – Lynton and Lynmouth tourist information office on 0845 660 3232
With thanks to Lynton TIC who helped organise the route.

 

April 2011

Exmouth Walk

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on all families and walkers in Devon to support its work on behalf of seafarers in need by taking part in the Exmouth Walk or Ride for Charity event.

The 14 mile cycle route and 12 mile walk gives participants the chance to experience the stunning East Devon Countryside whilst raising money for worthy causes including the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

The charity, which celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year, offers financial support to retired and incapacitated seafarers and provides general advice and guidance which enables those from the seafaring community to claim the state benefits they?re entitled to.

In the last 12 months the Society has helped seafarers in 2,750 cases of need and distributed grants totalling £1.6 million. They also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

The organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, in part due to the current harsh economic environment.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, said Exmouth Walk or Ride would be an enjoyable event for local walkers and families and a great opportunity to support seafarers and their families.

“Our work involves supporting retired and incapacitated seafarers who have devoted their lives to the sea. Unfortunately they often retire on meagre incomes and rely on financial help from us to make their later years just a little more comfortable. Our work benefits greatly from donations from charity events such as the Exmouth Walk or Ride and we hope the community in Devon will consider supporting our cause.”

Organised by the Rotary Club of Exmouth, the Walk or Ride is now in its ninth year and attracts hundreds of walkers and riders from across Devon annually. All routes set out from Bicton Arena on 8th May between 8.30am and 1pm. Participants taking part in the 12 mile walk should check in before 12 noon.

The event takes place on 8 May so those wishing to take part should get their applications in soon.

For further details about the Exmouth Walk or Ride and to download a registration form visit www.exmouthrotaryclub.co.uk. Find more information about the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society at www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

 

Welsh Walk

Maritime Charity calls on walkers in Wales to support it’s work.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on all families and walkers in North West Wales to support its work on behalf of seafarers in need by taking part in the Bala Challenge.

The 20 mile trek around Bala Lake, Gwynedd, on 7 May gives participants the chance to experience the stunning countryside of Snowdonia National Park whilst raising money for worthy causes including the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. There is also a shorter ‘family friendly’ route of 14 miles or eight miles for less experienced walkers.

The charity, which celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year, offers financial support to retired and incapacitated seafarers and provides general advice and guidance which enables those from the seafaring community to claim the state benefits they?re entitled to.

In the last 12 months the Society has helped seafarers in 2,750 cases of need and distributed grants totalling £1.6 million, of which nearly £60,000 was awarded in Wales. They also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

The organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year ? the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, in part due to the current harsh economic environment.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners? Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, said the Bala Challenge would be an enjoyable event for local walkers and families and a great opportunity to support seafarers and their families. “Our work involves supporting retired and incapacitated seafarers who have devoted their lives to the sea. Unfortunately they often retire on meagre incomes and rely on financial help from us to make their later years just a little more comfortable. Our work benefits greatly from donations from charity events such as the Bala Challenge and we hope the community in North West Wales will consider supporting our cause.”

Organised by Bala and Penllyn Rotary Club, the Bala Challenge takes walkers through the hills around Llyn Tegid, including part of the Aran Ridge, while the shorter walks take place on the shores of Bala Lake. A guided walk with a local expert who will provide information on local history is also being organised.

Last year over 270 walkers participated, raising £3,000 for charity, and organisers are hoping the event will prove even more popular this time around.

The event takes place on 7 May so those wishing to take part should get their applications in soon.

For further details about the Bala Challenge and to request an information pack contact 01678 521782 or 01678 521855

 

Essex Walk

Maritime Charity calls on walkers in Essex to support it’s work.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on all families and walkers in Essex to support its work on behalf of seafarers in need by taking part in the Mayflower Walk.

The 14 mile trek along the Essex Way gives participants the chance to experience the beautiful Essex coastline and stunning countryside whilst raising money for worthy causes including the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

The charity, which celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year, offers financial support to retired and incapacitated seafarers and provides general advice and guidance which enables those from the seafaring community to claim the state benefits they’re entitled to.

In the last 12 months the Society has helped seafarers in 2,750 cases of need and distributed grants totalling £1.6 million. They also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

The organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, in part due to the current harsh economic environment.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, said Mayflower Walk would be an enjoyable event for local walkers and families and a great opportunity to support seafarers and their families. “Our work involves supporting retired and incapacitated seafarers who have devoted their lives to the sea. Unfortunately they often retire on meagre incomes and rely on financial help from us to make their later years just a little more comfortable. Our work benefits greatly from donations from charity events such as Mayflower Walk and we hope the community in Essex will consider supporting our cause.”

Organised by the Rotary Club of Manningtree Stour Valley, the Mayflower Walk is now in its 10th year and attracts hundreds of participants every year. The walk starts from Harwich Low Lighthouse at 10am and finishes at Manningtree Station Buffet around 4pm.

The event takes place on Sunday 29 May so those wishing to take part should get their applications in soon.

For further details about Mayflower Walk and to download an entry form visit www.manningtreerotary.org.uk Find more information about the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society at www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk.

 

March 2011

Painting Sails into Rightful Home

Painting Auctioned For Seafarers in Need Finds New Home With Shipwrecked Mariner’s Son.

A painting, auctioned to raise money for a UK charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which supports seafarers in need, could not have found a more fitting home after it was bought by a man who’s family benefited from the organisation’s support when he was a child.

James Runcie, from Provost Road in Stranraer, purchased the painting donated by local artist Cameron Houston, as a way of saying thank you to The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which helped the family through financial difficulties after his father drowned just outside Garlieston harbour in 1972.

Bert Runcie’s fishing boat, ‘The Mary B’, was hit by a freak wave, leaving his wife to raise four children aged 18, 15, 14 and the youngest, James, who was only 3 years old at the time.

Sharon Runcie, James’ wife, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our purchase. The painting is certainly significant to us. My husband has little memory of his father, as he was only 3 years old when he drowned, but he always remembers the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s cheque arriving for his mother which eased hard times for her. This will be a special keepsake for us and also allow us to give something back to the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society for all their kindness over the years to his mother.”

The original painting by Scottish artist Cameron Houston, called ‘Islander Entering a Snow Covered Garlieston Harbour’, raised £250 for the Shipwrecked Mariner’s Society through an eBay auction and will go towards helping the UK’s impoverished seafarers.

In the last year the Society has provided support to seafarers across the country in over 2,750 cases of hardship and distress, including 700 in Scotland. It has distributed grants totalling over £1.6 million, £400,000 of which was awarded in Scotland. It also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

The painting was donated to the charity for auction by Scottish artist Cameron Houston. Having lived in Garlieston in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland all his life, he has an affinity with boating and the sea. His father Alex, 81, was a trawler man and once owned the ‘Islander’, built locally by one of Scotland’s oldest ship builders – Alexander Noble and Sons. The company has been building boats since 1946, employing four generations of traditionally skilled ship builders.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, said: “We are delighted that James and Sharon Runcie have bought the painting, which really couldn’t have gone to a more suitable home! The money will go towards making a real difference to the lives of retired and incapacitated seafarers and their widows who often find themselves living on tiny incomes. Many of these seafarers have spent their working lives in difficult and often dangerous conditions and deserve a higher quality of retirement than they sometimes find themselves living.”

The organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year – the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, particularly in the current harsh economic environment

 

‘Sales’ helping seafarers in need

‘Sales’ Helping Seafarers in Need.

Profits from Sale of Bill Bishop Painting to be Donated to Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Well known marine artist Bill Bishop is calling on admirers of his work and maritime enthusiasts to help support some of the UK’s impoverished seafarers by donating the profits from the sale of a recent work ‘The Approach to Trafalgar’ to Chichester based charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Bill is also donating the profits from limited edition prints of his paintings of the ‘Cutty Sark’, which the Society featured on Christmas cards last year, along with the ‘Victory entering Portsmouth for the last time’ which it is producing as a card for the 2011 festive season.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society operates to help UK seafarers in need through a combination of regular and one-off crisis grants. In the last 12 months seafarers in 2,750 cases of need from across the country benefited from the Society’s support. In the last year alone it has distributed grants totalling over £1.6 million. It also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

Bill Bishop grew up in Portsmouth. Sailing on his father’s boats he began sketching and making models. Today, a full time artist, his medium is oils and his subject is anything from Viking ships to windsurfers, historical naval battles to contemporary yachting.

His work has been exhibited by the Royal Society of Marine Artists and he has received commissions from the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth and the Mary Rose Trust.

Explaining his reasons for wanting to help the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Bill said: “My subjects are sometimes ships in distress, particularly from historical battles, so it seemed logical to support the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. My father was a World War Two fighter pilot and always owned boats so I have grown up on the water. I hope the sale of this painting will make a significant difference to retired seafarers in need.”

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “We are extremely grateful to Bill Bishop for generously donating funds from the sale of his painting and prints. The money raised will contribute to supporting retired and incapacitated seafarers who have devoted their lives to the sea.

“Unfortunately they often retire on meagre incomes and rely on financial help from us to make their later years just a little more comfortable.”

An exhibition of Bishop’s work is being held at the Oxmarket Centre of Arts, off East Street, Chichester from Monday 21st March for two weeks. Opening times are Monday – Saturday 10am – 4.30pm.

The Shipwrecked Mariners Society received 744 new applications for assistance last year – the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, particularly in the current harsh economic environment.

 

Charity Volunteer Reaches Out to Proud Seafarers in Need

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society urges Merseyside Residents to Take Part in the Wirral Coastal Walk to Help Local Mariners Who Suffer in Silence.

A local volunteer for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which supports impoverished seafarers and their families, is urging the public to take part in the Wirral Coastal Walk to raise money for Merseyside’s seafarers in need.

John Wilson, 55, from Birkenhead, acts as the local caseworker on behalf of the charity which supports around 220 former seafarers living in the region, but believes there are many more mariners who are too proud to ask for help.

The charity already distributes grants totalling £155,000 in the Merseyside area but wants to raise additional funds so these isolated mariners, who have devoted their lives to the sea, can receive the support they deserve.

John Wilson explains: “There are many retired seafarers living in Merseyside who have worked in the maritime industry for 40 or 50 years, often in very dangerous conditions and yet they are not enjoying the quality of retirement they deserve due to less than adequate pensions and limited savings.”

“It can often be difficult to identify those in need of support as seafarers tend to be very proud, having spent most of their lives being self-sufficient, and don’t like to be in receipt of charitable contributions. Within Merseyside we have very large communities of Somali, Chinese and West Indian seafarers who are particularly difficult to reach, as they often live in very isolated communities. However I know from existing beneficiaries that there are many former seafarers’ among these groups who need our support.”

Mr Wilson has already identified several new beneficiaries through local Somali community groups, however he says it is the women in the community who are the real concern, as they do not engage with these groups and the widows often live alone supporting several children.

Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariner’s Society, said: “The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society would be very grateful for any support Merseyside residents can offer. Funds raised will make a real difference to the quality of life of the region’s former seafarers. The Wirral Coastal Walk takes in some of the region’s most beautiful coastline and is a fantastic way for families to get out and about this Spring while raising money for a worthy cause.”

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has been supporting the seafaring community in Merseyside for over 172 years. In the last 12 months former seafarers in 2,750 cases of need across the country benefited from the Society’s support and grants totalling over £1.6 million were distributed. The Society also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in statutory benefits.

Malcolm added: “Despite this, the organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year – the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is very much in demand, particularly in the current economic environment.”

The 15 mile charity walk, organised by the Rotary Club of North Wirral, takes place on Sunday 22nd May and starts out from Seacombe Ferry at 10am, taking walkers through New Brighton, Harrison Drive, Moreton, Hoylake, West Kirby and finishing along the Wirral Way at Thurstaston. For further information and to request a sponsorship form visit www.wirralcoastalwalk.org.

 

From Gardens to Gallantry

Alan Titchmarsh Supports Call to Honour UK’s Heroic Mariners.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on members of the maritime community and air/sea rescue organisations across the UK to nominate their colleagues for their heroic acts of bravery at sea for its annual Skill and Gallantry Awards.

Presented by the Society every year since 1851, the awards recognise the UK’s unsung sea rescue heroes as well as those who have given outstanding service to the charity, which supports ex-merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependents in times of financial hardship.

Last year’s ceremony saw the crews and individuals from three dramatic sea rescues honoured alongside the charity’s longest-serving volunteer who has raised more than £100,000 for the charity.

Two rescue crews from Cornwall were honoured including the crew of “Rescue 193” from RNAS Culdrose who saved the lives of four trawlermen whose fire damaged vessel lost power in stormy conditions off the Isles of Scilly on New Years Eve. One crew member, Petty Officer Aircrewman Dian Lacy received an individual commendation for his bravery after being plunged into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean during the rescue.

Other winners included Lifeboat Coxswain Gary Fairbairn of RNLI Dunbar for ‘outstanding seamanship and teamwork’ in rescuing a sailor and his wife whose stricken yacht was in danger of being wrecked in rough seas north east of Dunbar.

Nominations for this year’s awards ceremony are now open and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is calling on all seafarers to look within their own crews for examples of outstanding acts of bravery and heroism.

Alan Titchmarsh, who is supporting this year’s Skill and Gallantry Awards explains:
“As Patron of the Cowes RNLI lifeboat and an enthusiast myself, I understand the challenges of working at sea, which is why I am supporting the awards. The Skill and Gallantry Awards recognise the brave men and women who put their lives on the line in dangerous sea rescues every day, as well as the dedicated fundraisers who support the important work undertaken by The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.”

The Society, which celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year, received 744 new applications for assistance last year – a significant increase on the previous year and it helped seafarers in 2,750 cases of need, distributing grants totalling £1.6 million. Donations from the public are vital to help this vulnerable community.

Mr Titchmarsh continued: “There are thousands of retired seafarers living in the UK who have devoted their lives to the maritime industry, often working in very dangerous conditions, and yet are not enjoying the quality of life they deserve. This is why the work of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is so important and makes a real difference to the lives of former mariners, whether it be through the provision of financial support, help with claiming benefits or supplying essential household items such as a new washing machine.”

Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, said: “The Society’s annual October Skill and Gallantry Awards are an important event in the maritime calendar and a chance to honour all those unsung heroes who risk their lives everyday to keep seafarers’ and members of the public safe. Every year I am struck by the qualities of the men and women who are nominated and the courage they display in helping those in distress at sea.”

For more information about the awards, or to submit a nomination, please contact us.

 

Cheque Abolition review

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, one of the UK’s oldest charities which supports impoverished former seafarers has today welcomed Government plans to review the abolition of cheques in 2018, addressing a move that would see over 60 per cent of donations to the charity affected.
The Government announcement comes two weeks after the Society met with Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie MP to highlight the highly detrimental effect the withdrawal of cheques would have on both donations and those receiving support.

Commodore Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, has said that in a worst case scenario the move could see a potential 60 percent loss of donations through cheques. This would be a huge blow to the charity, which has already seen individual donations diminish as a result of the credit crunch and recession, against a significant increase in applications for support.

Commodore Williams has also raised concerns over decisions on the future of cheques being taken by the Payments Council, the banks? representative body, which has a fundamental conflict of interest in the matter.

Commodore Williams explains: ?Given that the charitable objective of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is the relief of poverty, this is not the time to be reducing its charitable donations. Around sixty percent of all our donations and sales rely on cheques.

“But the issues goes beyond a purely financial one. Cheques serve a greater purpose to our charity. We pay the majority of our beneficiaries by cheque and this allows face-to-face contact with our volunteers who are able to identify any additional needs or provide advice. Our beneficiaries are often isolated within the wider community and removing this contact would not be helpful.”

The Society, which celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year, received 744 new applications for assistance last year – a significant increase on the previous year and helped 2,750 cases of need, distributing grants totalling £1.6 million. Donations from the public are vital to its work.

Cdre Williams continues: “The abolition of the cheque is also at odds with the Government’s ‘Giving’ Green paper which emphasises inclusivity and increasing charitable donations. If the abolition of cheques goes ahead many in the group that gives in the largest numbers, the over 65’s, will be most affected.”

 

Scottish Artist Paints Positive Picture For Seafarers In Need

Profits from the auction of a Cameron Houston painting are to be donated to the Shipwrecked Mariners Society. The society is calling on art lovers and maritime enthusiasts to help support some of the UK’s impoverished seafarers through the auction of an original painting by Scottish artist Cameron Houston.

One of the painter’s most popular works, ‘Islander Entering a Snow Covered Garlieston Harbour’’ has been donated by Houston in a generous bid to raise money for the charity, which operates to help UK seafarers in need through a combination of individual grants and financial advice.

In the last 12 months 2,750 former seafarers across the country benefited from the Society’s support, including 700 in Scotland. In the last year alone it has distributed grants totalling over £1.6 million, £400,000 of which was awarded in Scotland. It also helped beneficiaries access £31,000 in Government benefits.

Cameron Houston has lived in Garlieston in Ayrshire, Scotland all his life and has an affinity with boating and the sea. His father Alex, 81, was a trawler man and once owned the ‘Islander’, built locally by one of Scotland’s oldest ship builders – Alexander Noble and Sons. The company has been building boats since 1946, employing four generations of traditionally skilled ship builders.

Having studied for a qualification in graphic design in Glasgow, Houston now paints as a hobby and displays his work in the local Garlieston gallery. He said of the donation: “My father has dedicated his life to the sea and we are both very aware of the work of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society so I wanted to do something to support those that rely on the donations. I hope that whoever buys the painting gets as much pleasure out of looking at the Islander as my father did sailing it.”

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, said: “We are very grateful for the donation of the painting by Cameron Houston. Our work involves supporting retired and incapacitated seafarers who have devoted their lives to the sea. Unfortunately they often retire on meagre incomes and rely on financial help from us to make their later years just a little more comfortable.”

The painting is being auctioned via eBay until 24th February and can be found by searching under the painting’s title. Profits from the painting will go towards the financial support offered by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society to retired and incapacitated seafarers, in addition to the general advice and guidance it provides on state benefit entitlements.

The organisation received 744 new applications for assistance last year – the highest since 2005 – showing that help for this vulnerable community is much in demand, particularly in the current harsh economic environment.

 

Chief Executive writes in the Daily Telegraph

SIR – The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which exists for the relief of poverty, has banked with RBS and its direct predecessors for 172 years. We have recently been informed that we will have to pay bank charges (about £6,000) because of our use of cheques (to pay our beneficiaries).

If the bank’s chief executive were to receive a bonus of £2.5 million it would be obscene, not least when the taxpayer owns a substantial part of the bank.

I have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation for the bank’s decision about us, but I would be surprised if the chief executive was even aware we existed. So much for corporate social responsibility.

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