Seafarers Hospital Society is one of the oldest maritime charities and is best known for Dreadnought, a hospital ship set up in 1821 to provide medical services for seafarers. In 1870 it ‘came ashore’ and operated from the former Greenwich Hospital Infirmary where it gained a world-wide reputation for the trailblazing contribution to understanding diseases such as cholera, typhoid and scurvy. This led to the founding of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Throughout the past 200 years the Society’s basic purpose has remained unchanged, however the provision of support has changed significantly and never more so than in 2020. The Society responded quickly to the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing down funds from its investment portfolio and increasing the number and level of grants to support seafarers and their dependants during this unprecedented time, but always maintaining the provision of mental health and wellbeing support for seafarers and their families which remains a priority.