Skip to navigation Skip to content turn2us logoTurn2us - to access benefits & grants.
Search this site

You are here:

Seafarer SupportWhat is Seafarer Support?

Seafarer Support is a freephone helpline 0800 121 4765 and website - - with online ‘self-help’ search guide that acts as the referral service for the entire UK maritime charity sector that consists of 150 nautical charities with diverse objects and criteria.  Funded by the Maritime Charities Funding Group and operated by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, Seafarer Support helps puts seafarers and their families in touch with the maritime charity or charities best suited to assist them during difficult times.  

Who is Seafarer Support for?

Working and former seafarers (Merchant Navy, Fishermen, Royal Navy and Royal Marines) and their families, including those people who work to improve the lives of seafarers and their families.

How can seafaring charities help?

Sometimes we need a little help in steering a course through life’s problems. Seafarer Support will guide you and your family to some of the services available. This might include advice, or finding financial support, depending upon your circumstances.

What happens when I contact Seafarer Support?

  • We aim to respond to all enquiries within three working days
  • Our friendly staff will ask you a few questions about the help you are looking for
  • We will work with you to see if there are suitable sources of help from seafaring charities, or elsewhere, to meet your needs
  • If required we can arrange for a trained caseworker to visit you in your home.

These are just some of the ways in which seafaring or other charities might be able to help:


We will put you in touch with an organisation that can advise on:

  • Debt and money management
  • Entitlement to state benefits
  • Bringing up young families
  • Residential or nursing care, sheltered and independent housing in a number of locations in the UK.

Financial help

  • Grants to help with everyday essentials such as furniture, cookers, washing machines etc.
  • Regular grants for those whose income and savings are below certain levels
  • Grants towards the costs of raising children for those who have lost a parent or are experiencing hardship. These can include day-to-day needs, disabilities, educational costs, or seaside holidays.


  • Help with the costs of disability aids and home adaptations
  • Access to priority treatment for working and retired UK merchant seafarers and fishermen

Career development

  • Grants and interest free loans for Merchant Navy career development

Please note that, as a referral service, we do not provide direct financial assistance ourselves. Whilst we make every effort to find help, there may be circumstances in which that is not possible but we will, in any event, advise you of the outcome.

You can also look for charitable funds using the Turn2us Grants Search database

Facebook (opens in a new window) Twitter (opens in a new window) YouTube (opens in a new window) Nominet Award - Doing Good Online Highly Commended