The Seafarers' Charity's Seafaring Veterans Appeal 2024

The Seafarers' Charity's Seafaring Veterans Appeal 2024


Raised so far

  • About

Our seafaring veterans deserve more recognition and support.

As we approach the 80th anniversary of the historic D-Day, it remains imperative to commend the sacrifices made by our valiant seafaring veterans who helped secure our freedom, and pledge our continuing support to seafarers, past, present, and future.

Seafarers have proudly served our country in many conflicts.

From the two World Wars to the present day, our seafarers have set sail time and time again when our nation needed them, courageously playing their part in many conflicts and peacekeeping missions around the world. We strongly believe all brave veterans deserve special recognition and support regardless of where they served, be it in the Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, or supporting our armed forces as a member of the Merchant Navy or Fishing Fleets.

Regrettably, their valuable contributions are sometimes overlooked with many veterans encountering hardships in their post-service lives. These challenges include financial difficulties, physical impairments, mental health issues, and problems accessing healthcare support and dignified care in retirement.

Thanks to our supporters, The Seafarers’ Charity has been leading the way in assisting a range of charities and organisations dedicated to caring for seafaring veterans and their families since 1917. In 2022-23, we awarded 34 grants worth more than £1.23m, including grants to:

  • Not Forgotten Association, helping to provide entertainment and sport activities for seafaring veterans to improve their physical and mental health, and address isolation and loneliness.
  • Scottish Nautical Welfare Society, helping to provide grants to their beneficiaries. 
  • Veterans Outreach Support, providing mental health and well-being support to veterans.
  • Hounds for Heroes, supporting specialist training for eight puppies to become assistance dogs to aid Merchant Navy veterans.
  • Salute Her UK, supporting trauma-informed therapy for women seafarers.

In 2022-23, our loyal supporters helped us support over 14,500 veterans, including Martin (name has been changed to protect privacy).

Thanks to our grant, Martin was able to lay some demons to rest when he joined a funded trip to Gibraltar arranged by The Not Forgotten Association: ‘I first came to Gibraltar in 1998 as a 17-year-old on HMS Cornwall and am now back in Gibraltar as a 41-year-old. It’s given me that bit of closure from my own battles and allowed me to rediscover my own personality with a group of veterans again.’

In total, nine veterans went on the trip to participate in a military heritage restoration project. Many of the veterans were classed as vulnerable. The trip provided an unprecedented boost to their mental health, confidence, and self-esteem as they threw themselves into the project and felt pride in giving something back. These veterans wouldn’t have been able to afford to participate otherwise.

Together, we can provide seafaring veterans in need with the support they deserve.

The need for our help is far from diminishing. With the number of former Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleet seafarers aged over 85 set to increase by 275% by the 2030s, more veterans will inevitably need our support to live out their days with dignity and independence. As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, let us come together to extend our gratitude to all seafaring veterans, past, present and future.

By contributing to The Seafarers’ Charity’s SeaVets Appeal, you will be honouring the legacy of the D-Day veterans and directly impacting the lives of many veterans, like Martin. Every donation, no matter the size, will bring us one step closer to creating a brighter future for our seafaring heroes.

  • £15 could help an isolated seafarer connect with others
  • £30 could help subsidise dementia care
  • £75 could provide an hour of PTSD counselling for a traumatised veteran

Thanks to a generous donor, all donations up to £10,000 will be match-funded – essentially every pound you donate will be doubled.

Contribute today to our appeal. Your kind gift will help us look after our ageing seafaring veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve. Thank you!