Like most things that have turned virtual since the pandemic, the annual Sailors’ Society Christmas Carol service was held online this year; bringing Christmas cheer through the power of our screens and Navarino was a proud supporter of this worthy cause held to celebrate seafarers everywhere.
The Sailors’ Society is an international maritime charity supporting seafarers both through practical and emotional support since 1818. The organization runs projects across the entirety of the seafaring community around the world, from providing grants to those with financial difficulty, to healthcare for retired seafarers, or building facilities for communities that have been devastated by natural disasters.
In such a challenging time across the globe, the Sailors’ Society has carried out many campaigns in order to support the maritime community through the coronavirus pandemic.
Particularly at the beginning of the growing pandemic situation, the Sailors’ Society acted to coordinate relief efforts and rescue missions for hundreds of stranded seafarers, such as the some 300 seafarers caught in a suspected outbreak on 20 ferries in September of 2020, who were stranded for weeks in the Indian Ocean without medical supplies and with 70% of crew showing signs of symptoms.
The Sailors’ society now has a growing list of resources for the maritime community to access regarding the coronavirus, providing necessary advice for the protection of the health, jobs, and families of seafarers. However, the Sailor’s Society has also expanded its mental health resources, offering wellness and relaxation podcasts, as well as other activities, to help support what has been a significant plight for mental and emotional health.
The virtual Christmas Carol service is one such activity that the Sailor’s Society has arranged; with almost 500 live viewers on YouTube, the service proved a success in providing some light in an otherwise difficult period. As part of the festive spirit, the organisation also visited several vessels to donate gifts to those onboard, including warm winter gloves, hats and other essentials.