Working Hard on Welfare

How happy with welfare facilities when
you are ashore? – 5.50 ↓ from 5.53

It is disappointing to note a falling figure here, and the
fact that seafarers are not as happy with welfare facilities
ashore as they would hopefully be. As with anything though,
statistics do not always tell the whole story.

Indeed, many seafarers who scored low on this question,
were expressing their frustrations at not actually getting
the shore leave to visit centres. Those who did speak about
the centres they had visited tended to paint a very positive
picture of their experiences. There was a special shout out
for the Mission team in Rotterdam who were praised for the
“very friendly and hospitable” welcome they gave to a group
of seafarers.

As with so many things, the experience does vary and crew
did say that there was a mix of standards from port to port
and nation to nation, though generally the welfare facilities
were felt to be good. There was also thanks to the centres
which had begun to innovate and provide some forms of
access in smaller ports, where perhaps there was little or no
provision before. Even unmanned satellite centres or hubs
can provide some small comfort and respite for crews who
might otherwise simply have to stay onboard.

One demand that was repeated in responses was for
improved internet access in centres and the facilities to make
calls or to communicate quietly, privately and in comfort.
Seafarers may be turning away from some of the traditional
services provided by centres, but they still have needs which
can be catered for. Cheap, fast online access in an appropriate
environment is what seafarers want.

The Mission to Seafarers is working hard to address the
issues, whether that involves ensuring there is sufficient
access to centres or working to ensure that seafarers can
access shore leave. We, of course, also continue to visit
vessels and meet with crews every day all over the world. In
the past few months, as is often the case, the Mission teams
around the world have stepped in to provide spiritual and
practical support for seafarers in distress or danger.

To view the full results for this quarter, please click here: https://www.happyatsea.org/wp-content/uploads/SHI_Q2_2019.pdf

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