May 18, 2020 @ 11:05 by Richard Dawson
Maritime insurer, North P&I Club, has lent its support to a number of charities, drawing attention to the welfare of seafarers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Shipping is a vital part of the international supply chain which keeps supermarket shelves stocked, and many crews remain at sea, unable to see their loved ones until restrictions are eased.
North P&I Club has ring-fenced £40,000 of its North 150 Fund for maritime charities to support crews through this difficult period.
One of the charities North is supporting is the Sailor’s Society, which offers helplines to seafarers experiencing loneliness, especially at a time when their next visit home could be some time away.
North is also providing mental health resources for seafarers and their families alongside the grants, which will help maintain supply chains at sea.
Paul Jennings, chief executive of North, said: “The impact of this pandemic is huge, and the welfare of seafarers at this time is an issue close to our hearts.
“As a 160-year-old business with our roots here in the North East, we’re passionate about the shipping legacy of our region, and determined to support those working in the maritime industry in challenging times.
“Our seafarers play a pivotal role in ensuring our supply chain keeps going. They are among the unsung heroes of this crisis.
“Without them, we wouldn’t have access to everyday essentials such as food and medicine. That’s why we’re doing what we can to show them our support.”
In addition to funding maritime organisations, North has also been supporting a number of local charitable initiatives like the Greggs Foundation, Newcastle United Foundation, Clothe & Feed and Ouseburn Farm.
Paul added: “From food parcels for families in need and help for the elderly and vulnerable, to emergency hospice funding and counselling for NHS frontline workers, we’re proud to be supporting the work of these vital charities in and around Tyneside.”