“many maritime charities depend upon our funding to continue to deliver ‘on the ground’ services” needs of our current seafarers remain as important to us as ever, perhaps even more so in the current downturn. When Seafarers UK was established in 1917 (as King George’s Fund for Sailors), it was for seafarers from across the UK and the Commonwealth. The focus of our grants has always been on UK seafarers and this will continue in 2013. However, where we are able to identify a need to support Commonwealth seafarers that can be achieved at reasonable cost, we are willing to consider applications from outside the UK. In December 2012 we made a grant to support the work of the Mission to Seafarers. Although based in the UK, the Mission operates across the world and the grant will support the running and associated costs of their work in seven ports: Cardiff, Port Talbot, Felixstowe, Singapore, Limisol (Cyprus), and Tuticorin and Mangalore in India. This year we were able to award a grant of £117,000 to the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen to continue to provide support at Mission Centres located around the coast, from Newlyn in Cornwall to Peterhead in Scotland and in Northern Ireland, providing welfare provision for current and retired fishermen and their families. 2012 saw our grant to the Seamen’s Hospital Society continue its work to support the development of the Seafarers Advice and Information Line (SAIL), and we are pleased to be able to increase our grant to this organisation to enhance the levels of support particularly in the area of debt counselling.
4. MARITIME YOUTH GROUPS
It is fitting that in the year of our Children’s Appeal, Seafarers UK awarded £387,500 to youth organisations. Our main beneficiary was the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), which was awarded £100,000 as a contribution towards their own grants fund which supports of over 360 separate UK Sea Cadet units. Grants range from providing security fencing, alarms and gates for individual Sea Cadet units, to general building maintenance, boats and associated equipment. Our Charter requires us actively to promote seafaring careers to young people and the MSSC fulfill this role through a national programme of structured training at its separate cadet units across the country. This grant
was in addition to the grant to support the replacement of their Training Ship Royalist. Additionally we supported young people looking to pursue a career in the marine sector though a grant to the UK Sailing Academy. This grant supports up to four three-year bursaries as part of the UKSA Yachting Cadetship programme specifically designed for those seeking to embark on a long term career on large yachts. It provides a structured route through the RYA scheme and beyond into MCA qualifications, with Cadets aiming to qualify as MCA Officer of the Watch (3000gt) at the end of the training programme.
5. IMPROVING EFFICIENCY
Seafarers UK is committed to working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the maritime grant making sector. To this end we made a grant to support the work of the Maritime Charities Funding Group, as well as continuing our support for the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO) and Veterans Scotland, in representing the voice of ex-service personnel living there.
How our grants are made
Ultimate responsibility for grant making rests with members of the General Council of Seafarers UK who have delegated the consideration and recommendation of grants to the Distribution Committee (the ‘Grants Committee’ as of 1 Jan 2013), the members of which are advised by the Director of Grants and External Operations. The final decision rests with General Council and it is after this meeting that grants are confirmed and announced to beneficiary organisations.
Monitoring and Evaluation of our grants
Seafarers UK, like many grant makers, relies on grant recipients telling us of any changes made to how the grant is spent or whether the grant actually achieved the outcomes it identified in the application. However from January 2013 we will be more proactive and will be piloting monitoring and evaluation processes. We will work closely with our beneficiaries to make sure that this evaluation produces valuable evidence of their work, whilst not being onerous to produce.
2012 ANNUAL REPORT & REVIEW