The Sailors’ Society is one of the oldest maritime charities in the world and was established to better the lives of men and women at sea.

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Photo by Gregg Yan for Seafarer Asia

Established in 1818 by a group of preachers and laymen in London whose desire was to alleviate the hardship of seafarers in distress, Sailors’ Society has presence in over 90 ports around the globe. It is the oldest maritime charity in the world.


  • Rebuilding – started after the typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. The organization builds homes, school buildings, and medical facilities for families in great need.
  • Schools – resources for and access to quality education, and better schooling opportunities for children.
  • Wellness – anchored on the need to maintain physical, spiritual, and mental well-being of seafarers at sea, in port, or at home.
  • Nautical Education – training and grants for people who want to pursue maritime education but can’t afford it.
  • Community – chaplains to look after seamen at port, and retired seafarers, providing feeding programs, bible studies, and companionship.
  • Innovation – using technological advancement to better the connectivity of seafarers to chaplains, their access to wellness programs, and to provide an online support platform for their wives.


In general, the organization provides a variety of services ranging from ship visits and chaplaincy, transportation, spiritual guidance and counselling, access to medical treatment, welfare support, and maritime education scholarships. For Filipino seafarers, the following are available:

Nautical Grants

Sailors’ Society offers up to £500 (GBP) for seafarers’ continuing education. They do not provide for food and accommodation. However, in cases of real financial hardship, a welfare grant might be considered. Also, this grant is only applicable to those who serve or have intent to serve at sea. Land-based jobs do not qualify. Request for an application by sending an email to [email protected].

The Propeller Club

Funding for vocational training that focuses on maritime catering. This course prepares its students to be maritime cooks. The program has already produced 25 graduates. For more information on this and other scholarships, email [email protected].

Wellness at Sea

A well-rounded program that includes an online e-learning platform, a coaching course for the seafarers’ companies (a similar course for individual learning can be availed of for only $3), and a free app that gives healthy life hacks, recipes and exercises. A downloadable brochure with more information can be found at here, and the app can be downloaded from the App Store or on Google Play.

 SeaWives App

A free online forum that offers advice, discussion, and support network for seafarers wives, families and partners. The app can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.

Outreach Programs

Varied projects initiated by the Sailors’ Society’s family outreach officers. Projects include clubs for both the wives and the children of seafarers. These are coursed through local churches, schools, and shipping companies.

Chaplaincy Support

The Society’s chaplains and volunteers visit crew on board ships at 90 ports worldwide. They offer a listening ear, assistance with small welfare grants, and even rides into town. You can call +44(0)23 8051 5950 or go here to get more information on the local port chaplain visit.

Crisis Response Network

24-hour counseling and assistance to get in touch with other welfare support and services. Email [email protected] to contact Sailors’ Society’s trained responders.


The Sailors’ Society also has a YouTube channel where you can find videos of how they work and what they stand for. To read more about their works and updates, you may also check their blogs.


You may get involved with Sailors’ Society by signing up here. Or you may also donate for their causes here.

For over 20 decades, the Sailors’ Society has been steadfast in ensuring that our seafarers get the best of what they deserve in terms of welfare and support. Established to better the lives of men and women at sea, they will always respond to the flares of every sailor in need.

Elijah Jose Barrios

Elijah Jose Barrios is a 24-year old Third Officer, Teacher, and Course Developer. He advocates for child literacy and youth empowerment through his involvement in different organizations.  He considers himself an appreciator of any form of art and usually puts all his realizations into writing.