A port chaplain from international maritime charity Sailors’ Society reached out to more than 11,000 seafarers in London and Tilbury ports last year.
Frans Sahetapy provides practical and emotional support to the men and women who dock at the ports.
Frans said: “Seafarers are away from home and family for nine to 12 months at a time so can feel quite lonely.We provide them with a friendly face, news from home and welfare support.”
The support offered includes everything from providing free Wi-Fi and lifts to local amenities, to offering counselling in times of crisis.
Frans recently assisted a Bosun who had been admitted to hospital.
Frans commented: “It’s so hard when you are ill and far from home in a foreign country. We chatted and I gave him a phone card so that he could get in touch with his family. Happily, he recovered and was soon on his way home.”
Frans and his fellow Sailors’ Society chaplains and volunteer ship visitors reach out to 1,000 seafarers in more than 90 ports around the world each day.
If you would like to find out more about Sailors’ Society’s work or are interested in volunteering, you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org