North West (UK) based PR and marketing agency Polaris Media has made Liverpool Seafarers Centre its main nominated charity for 2021.
Polaris has renewed its agreement with LSC to extend its PR services, which are supplied at a special pro bono rate. This will be the fifth year Polaris has worked for the ecumenical charity which supports around 50,000 seafarers each year and whose roots date back to the 19th century in Liverpool.
Polaris managing director Ben Pinnington said the company, which has offices in Manchester and Merseyside, wants to continue to support the essential work of the charity at a time of acute hardship for seafarers.
“It is very important to Polaris that we make a positive difference in our work,” he said. “All the team here are passionate about maritime and we have all come to understand the immense contribution made by seafarers but also the challenges they face. This is one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs on earth with crew being away from home and loved ones for long periods. Covid has made their job even more difficult with the crew change crisis. We will continue to work hard to maintain awareness of LSC in the mainstream media and social media highlighting the work it does to support 50,000 seafarers passing through Liverpool each year.”
LSC CEO John Wilson said he is pleased the centre will continue to fight for seafarers through the media including LSC’s popular Twitter feed: @Liv_seafarers
“Seafarers are too often out of sight and out of mind,” he said. “Working with Polaris we fully intend to continue to keep their profile high in the local, religious and national mainstream media. As an island nation we rely on seafarers to deliver 95pc of all UK goods – fuel, food, clothes, electronics, timber, grains, manufactured goods and much more besides. In addition, our economy relies on shipping to transport the vast majority of our exports around the world to drive our economy. We owe seafarers a huge debt and at the seafarers centre we are 100 per cent reliant on donations to support them. A media campaign and communications is key to our work.”
Seafarer mental health
* There are more than 1.2m seafarers at sea, according to UK Chamber of Shipping<https://ukchamberofshipping.com/latest/uk-chamber-shipping-writes-uk-pm-crew-changes/
* Most seafarers work a typical contract length of nine months, but many have now been at sea for up to 15 months due to the pandemic, working on average 10-12 hours a day.
* Charitable organisation Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) says seafarers face isolation, sleep disruption, exhaustion. A recent survey revealed that 1/5 seafarers had thought of self-harm.
* HRAS reported an ‘unprecedented’ flow of pleas about non-payment of wages, contracts being renewed without consent, and crews being left in foreign ports without money or flights home. The organisation and LSC have each formally called on governments to recognise seafarers as key workers.