The charity, which offers financial support to retired and incapacitated seafarers, launched the seasonal Christmas card shop at its North Pallant Premises in Chichester on Monday (15th October).
This year’s collection of cards features 12 new designs, many of which feature maritime scenes and are exclusively available through the Society with every penny raised going directly to help people in need – many of whom have spent their lives at sea or who have been involved in a wreck, to ensure they, and their families, enjoy the standard of living they deserve.
Throughout its 173-year history, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has helped in hundreds of thousands of cases, providing support to the seafaring, and ex-seafaring community at times of crisis and financial need. The society also works with seafarers who have made their living at sea, but found their livelihoods cut short either through injury or illness.
The charity specialises in providing specific items which are needed in a crisis, such as replacement washing machines or fridge freezers and covers the cost of equipment required due to a medical condition, such as mobility scooters, stairlifts, adjustable beds or riser/recliner chairs. The society also helps with priority debts and essential household repairs – things which can make a huge difference to an individual’s quality of life but which they just cannot afford because they are on a low fixed income and have no savings.
Although the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is one of the UK’s smaller charities its annual grant expenditure in the past year of £1.47 million allowed it to provide financial assistance in 2,542 cases of need ensuring that many families and individuals living alone are able to enjoy a standard of living and quality of life that they could otherwise not afford.
Commodore Malcolm Williams CBE RN, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society explains.
“Although shipping levels have reduced over recent years, the risks still exist with injuries and deaths at sea unfortunately still all too common and with shipwrecks happening more frequently than you might imagine. The UK’s merchant seafarers and fishermen travel treacherous seas every day - if you look around your home at the consumer goods we take for granted, the food on your table, it’s quite obvious the standard of living we enjoy would not be possible without merchant mariners and fishermen.
“We believe the society’s Christmas, Birthday and Correspondence cards make a most attractive collection and the Christmas Appeal is our only national fundraising activity. All cards purchased and donations made make a vital contribution towards our life-enhancing, and sometimes life-changing, work.”
To purchase the cards, either visit the Society’s shop at 1 North Pallant Chichester (open 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 1pm Saturday (from 10th November), visit its website at www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk, or call 01243 789 329 to request a brochure.
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