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Charity Grants for Fishermen


Throwing you a Lifeline

Last year the Society helped former seafarers, their widows and dependants in over 2,000 cases of need, distributing grants totalling over £1.4 million which made a huge difference to their quality of life.

Examples of Help

  • Mr S aged 70 with 32 years at sea asked for help towards the installation of a stairlift.  Due to their disabilities both Mr and Mrs S, who look after their adult son with learning difficulties, were finding it increasingly difficult to get to the upstairs bathroom.  Social services had been approached and their solution was to supply a commode in the kitchen.  We gave £2,690 and another charity gave £1,500 so that a stairlift could be installed. 
  • Mr T aged 49 with 27 years at sea was on a net weekly income of £80 with no savings.  He had been unable to work since 2008 owing to health problems.  Although he had run up some debts he was trying his best to manage these and not get behind with his payments.  As his doctor had signed him as permanently unfit for any future work, we awarded him a regular grant.
  • Mr K, in his late twenties, had been at sea for 11 years.  Married with two young children he was about to be evicted because he had complained to the landlord about damp and other poor conditions in the house.  He was able to move with the assistance of his family.  He then contracted pneumonia, became unemployed and was on a net weekly income of £98.  They were waiting for Housing and Council Tax benefit to come through and had been unable to pay the rent on the new property.  We paid off the arrears of £1,390.

There are five main types of grant provided by the Society:

Biannual Grant

Biannual Grants are given twice each year to retired or permanently disabled fishermen, mariners, or their widows, whose situation means they require regular financial support. A minimum of 10 years of sea service is required.

Death Benefit Grant

Death Benefit Grants are a single grant paid to the widow of a Life Member of the Society under the former beneficial membership scheme.

Immediate Grant

Immediate Grants are given to widows and children left in need following the death of a serving fisherman or mariner.

One-Off Grant

One-off grants are given to fishermen, mariners, or their widows and children, who do not qualify for a Biannual Grant, but who have a specific need. A minimum of five years’ sea service is required.

Funeral Grant

These are awarded to the next-of-kin if they meet the qualifying criteria for a one-off grant subject to their having applied for and received a DWP funeral grant.

Shipwreck Assistance

Practical (and where appropriate financial) assistance is offered to shipwrecked survivors landed on the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland.

If you would like to apply for assistance, know someone who needs help, or would like to find out more, please contact a member of our grants team who will be happy to help you.

Call 01243 787761 or email:  (Please note: applications for assistance can only be accepted from the UK and Ireland).

If you would like to support the work of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society, please visit our donations page.

Cards & Gifts

Buying Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society greeting cards can be a great way of supporting us. We have a full range of charity cards and gifts!

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If it wasn’t for our supporters, we could not provide seafarers and their families with the essential help they need.

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