Every year we award in excess of £2m in grant funding to support charities and not-for-profit organisations to deliver a wide range of welfare services to seafarers, fishers and their families.

Our grant funding supports the core costs of some of the largest and most well-known maritime charities who work with seafarers in the UK and internationally. Our grant funded services for seafarers include advice lines, hardship grants, port chaplaincy, safety initiatives, Wi-Fi and digital communications, podcasts, retirement accommodation, advocacy and abandonment support, as well as free relationship counselling.

Our grant funding is targeted on improving five outcomes experienced by seafarers throughout their working lives and during retirement:

  • Enhanced financial resilience
  • Better working lives at sea
  • Improved health and well-being
  • Safer working lives at sea
  • Increased social justice

Our Main Grant Programme is the cornerstone of our funding. From time to time there are special grant programmes with a different application process and terms and conditions. Our current grant funding programmes are:

  • Main Grant Programme
  • Merchant Navy Fund

If you are new to the maritime welfare sector, or a first-time grant applicant, please contact the Impact Team to discuss your potential application by emailing impact@theseafarerscharity.org.

‘We want to extend gratitude to our Platinum Sponsor The Seafarers' Charity for the generous donation as a part of our Sustaining Crew Welfare campaign. Your support allows us to continue our work. Thank you!’ – Mission to Seafarers

‘The charity is always very approachable and willing to listen to new ideas.’ – Nautilus Welfare Fund

Can I apply for a grant?

Yes, if you are acting on behalf of a charity or not-for-profit organisation that is supporting the safety and/or welfare of people who work at sea. This includes seafarers and fishers.

No, if you are an individual seafarer, fisher or private business. We do not provide grant funding to individuals. If you are an individual seeking help there are two main charities that can advise you on your options:

• The Seafarers' Advice & Information Line (SAIL):
if you are a UK resident, you can contact this Citizens Advice service for seafarers. SAIL provide free, independent, impartial and confidential advice by telephone, email, post or fax. SAIL can be contacted on 08457 413 318 or email advice@sailine.org.uk

• Seafarer Help: if you are normally resident outside the UK, Seafarer Help provides a multi-lingual 24 advice line and support with a range of issues. They can be contacted on +44 20 7323 2737 or email help@seafarerhelp.org

What are the funding criteria?

A charity or not-for-profit organisation may apply for a grant if the following funding criteria are met:

  • Is a registered charity or a not-for-profit organisation with charitable aims
  • Delivers services, support and help to seafarers, fishers and/or their dependents
  • Has an office in the UK and/or Commonwealth
  • Has submitted most recent Annual Accounts within the 10-month period required by the Charity Commission if a UK charity, or if an international NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) within the requirements of relevant authority relating to legal status as an NGO.

What are your funding priorities?

Our strategy for 2021 to 2024 is set out in Thrive. We aim to use our grant funding to achieve the following five outcomes for seafarers, fishers and their families:

  • Enhanced financial resilience
  • Better working lives at sea
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Safer working lives
  • Increased social justice

Please read ‘Improving Outcomes for Seafarers & Fishers’ to find out more about each outcome.

What type of funding is available?

As long as you aim to support seafarers, fishers and their families you can apply for grant funding for core costs, projects and capital costs.

  • Core funding costs are the general running costs (sometimes referred to as 'revenue' costs) that exist whether or not you support one project/area of work or 11 projects. Examples are staff and management costs, development costs (e.g. staff training, professional memberships etc.) and support costs such as IT, finance, HR and premises costs.
  • Project costs are the specific cost incurred in delivering a project. It includes all of the direct costs involved in the project and you may add ‘full cost recovery’ at no more than 5% of your total application request.
  • We will consider capital costs if related to the cost of purchasing new equipment or refurbishing or building premises. Priority will be given to initiatives that directly support the ongoing work of charities/NGOs in delivering direct welfare services and benefits to current and ex-seafarers and their families. Please be aware, that substantial capital grants are rare, and if in excess of £100k should always be discussed prior to submitting a grant application.

NB: Full cost recovery refers to all the costs involved in running a project. This means that you can request funding for the direct project costs incurred and for a proportionate share of your organisation's overheads.

What do you fund?

Our grant funding supports the delivery of a broad range of welfare services for seafarers and fishers. We support everything from advice lines, hardship grants, port chaplaincy, safety initiatives, Wi-Fi and mobile communications, retirement accommodation and free relationship counselling.

Who do you fund?

We fund the core costs and service delivery of some of the biggest and most well-known providers of international and national maritime welfare services, including The Mission to Seafarers, Stella Maris, Sailors’ Society and International Seafarers Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN). In the UK we also fund some well-known national charities such as Age UK and Relate to deliver bespoke services to seafarers, fishers and their families.

What is your funding year?

Our funding year is the same as a calendar year and runs from 1 January to 31 December. In a normal year our trustees meet three times during the year to consider grant applications.

When should I apply for a grant?

You should apply when you have a funding need. If there is particular urgency attached to your application, please contact the Impact Team by emailing impact@theseafarerscharity.org to discuss further. Otherwise, your grant application will be taken to the next meeting of the Impact Committee.

Do you have deadlines for receipt of grant applications?

No. A grant application can be submitted at any time of the year as we do not operate deadlines.

When will I know if my application has been successful?

Within three months of submitting your online grant application, we will contact you to inform you of the outcome of your grant application.

When will the grant award be paid?

Once you have been notified of the successful outcome of the grant award, you need to provide the organisation’s bank details and relevant signed paperwork to impact@theseafarerscharity.org. Only on receipt of the documentation will the payment be processed. It will be paid by BACS transfer direct into the organisations bank account within 3 weeks.

When is a monitoring report due?

A Monitoring and Evaluation Report becomes due 15 months after you received the grant payment. We will notify you at the time that the report becomes due.

Apply for funding

If you wish to apply for funding you can do this via our online application system.

Get started

Get in touch

For more information about our grant funding programmes, please contact:

Mail impact@theseafarerscharity.org

Telephone 020 7932 0000

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Grant funding programmes

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