Paul Hagan of Leicester served for 10 years with the merchant navy. After leaving, he lost his leg in an accident. A fitness fan, he became a wheelchair athlete but had to give this up too because of nerve damage.
His service at sea meant that he was able to get a £400 grant from the Seafarers Hospital Society, which he put with grants from other sources to buy a hand cycle.
Paul Hagan says “I’ve fitted my cycle with a red ensign, partly because I’m proud to have been a merchant seaman, partly because of all the help seafaring charities have given me. It’s fantastic to be active again.”
Bob Mackie of Grimsby worked for 45 years a fisherman in spite of a number of accidents and the early loss of one leg. When he retired the Society gave him a grant of £1,500 towards the cost of a scooter.
Bob Mackie says “My new scooter is fantastic. I couldn’t have afforded it without the grant. Thanks to the Society I now have my independence back.”
Frances Puddifer of Liverpool was a stewardess on Irish Car Ferries. Now retired, Frances was finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the stairs in her home. With a grant from three maritime charities, including one of £425 from the Society, she’s been able to install a stairlift.
Frances Puddifer says “It was the best Christmas present ever!”