I normally stay focussed on Aberdeen, however, this project is of international importance to improve Welfare Support to Seafarers around the world that I felt it would be good to put it up here. Follow the links in the text below to see some videos about the project.

Here is the Press release:

ISWAN Port Welfare Partnership Project

Impressive start to seafarers’ welfare pilot project

As a glorious setting sun marked the end of the working day in London, maritime sector representatives from Ship Owners, Ports & Authorities, Unions, Maritime Funders and Voluntary Organisations took the opportunity to meet on board HQS Wellington and celebrate an extremely encouraging start to their International ‘Port Welfare Partnership’ Project.

The International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN) pilot project, funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, aims to assist countries and ports set up ‘welfare boards’ to support and improve seafarers’ welfare in ports around the world.

Welfare boards, known locally as ‘Port Welfare Committees’, provide the forum for members of the maritime community to regularly get together to enhance the quality of life for domicile and foreign seafarers visiting ports in accordance with ILO, MLC, 2006. ISWAN Executive Director, Roger Harris stated “The welcomed implementation of MLC, 2006 marks the dawn of a new era in seafarers’ welfare in ports and our small but significant project will focus on creating the port environment needed to improve seafarers’ access to shore based facilities. We are standing by to help states and ports establish welfare boards and comply with MLC, 2006 4.4”.

Kimberly Karlshoej, Head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust who is funding the ISWAN project added “The Trust is extremely pleased to be funding what is an important infrastructure pilot project that encourages partnership working in support of those organisations actually delivering seafarers’ welfare services”.

The project is managed by the staff of the UK Merchant Navy Welfare Board who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in both operating and setting up welfare boards. Peter Tomlin, the Project Manager and MNWB Deputy Chief Executive, stated “We are absolutely delighted with the initial response to our bespoke project website www.portwelfare.org, which was launched on 4th Feb 2015. In just over a week we have received numerous requests for help from over 20 different countries.” He stressed ‘The project is all about bringing the different parts of the maritime community together in order to improve port welfare services. ISWAN has the funds and expertise at hand to help establish a limited number of welfare boards during 2015/16 and, subject to demand, we will also look to expand the project should the need arise”.

The project will also investigate the presence and operational effectiveness of existing seafarers’ welfare boards in order to create a global network of port welfare. At this early stage maritime states, ports and welfare organisations are invited to submit an ‘expression of interest’ to participate in the project via the ‘Contact Us’ webpage of the project website www.portwelfare.org.

IPWP-WellingtonPictured above are the Maritime representatives from Ship Owners, Ports & Authorities, Unions, Maritime Funding and Voluntary Organisations muster on board HQS Wellington in London to celebrate the positive start to their pilot project, which aims to support and improve seafarers’ welfare in ports.



Further organisational information:

ISWAN: The International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network promotes seafarers welfare worldwide and supports seafarers with a 24/7 helpline www.seafarerswelfare.org

MNWB: The Merchant Navy Welfare Board is the UK umbrella charity for the Merchant Navy supporting the provision of quality welfare services for seafarers and their dependants. www.mnwb.org

ITF Seafarers’ Trust: The ITF Seafarers’ Trust provides funds for organisations who do work for the benefit of seafarers   www.seafarerstrust.org

For further project information visit www.portwelfare.org ;email admin@portwelfare.org or contact:

Alastair Whitfield, Project Administrator Alastair@mnwb.org or Peter Tomlin MBE MNM, Deputy Chief Executive & Project Manager, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, 8, Cumberland Place, Southampton SO15 2BH Tel: 0044 (0) 2380 337799.

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