Grants to seafarers

Can I apply for a grant?

You can apply for a grant:

  • If you are a working merchant seafarer or fisherman and have completed five years’ sea service.
  • If you are no longer at sea you need to have had at least five years’ sea service, or service which was cut short because of accident or illness.
  • If you are a dependant of a working or former merchant seafarer or fisherman, who has completed five years’ sea service, such as a wife, husband, widow or widower, or child under 18.

What sort of things can I apply for?

  • Household items, such as cookers, fridges, washing machines and beds
  • Help with¬†priority debts such as gas, electricity, water, Council Tax, and rent
  • Essential household maintenance such as window repairs, heating repairs, decorating and carpets
  • Disability aids or equipment, such as stair lifts, electrically powered vehicles (EPVs) including wheelchairs, riser/recliner chairs and adapted bathrooms
  • Urgent short-term living expenses
  • Respite breaks or convalescence
  • Clothing
  • Help with funeral expenses.

How does it work?

You, or the people supporting you, should contact us for help. If you already have a caseworker, we will work with them. If you don’t, we can arrange for one to contact, visit and support you through the application process.

Applying for grants

Where do the caseworkers come from?

We work through caseworkers from other organisations such as Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, the Fishermen’s Mission, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and Nautilus.

How do I apply?

Requests must be in writing, so you and your caseworker will need to complete an application form, which you can¬†download here. We accept application forms from other organisations so check with us before filling in ours. If we can use an existing form, we’ll let you know to save you the extra time and effort.

I need help urgently. How long does it all take?

We deal with all applications promptly and urgent cases are always prioritised.

Will everyone know about it?

All requests for grants are confidential, and personal information is handled according to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Disability aids

The Society provides grants for health-related items such as disability aids, stair lifts, electrically powered vehicles (EPVs), riser/recliner chairs and adapted bathrooms.

2023: Our grants in numbers


in grants to institutions


in grants to individuals


total grant expenditure


on charitable work

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