The Seafarers' Charity has introduced a new fundraising appeal in support of the Merchant Navy Fund as part of its annual Fly the Red Ensign campaign for Merchant Navy Day on 3 September.
The Fly the Red Ensign Campaign highlights the UK's dependence on merchant seafarers, who are responsible for safely shipping more than 90% of the UK’s imports, and celebrates their contribution. Normally each year thousands of locations across the UK hoist the Red Ensign in recognition of current UK Merchant seafarers, and to honour Merchant Navy personnel who served during the First and Second World Wars.
This year, in recognition that the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on Merchant Navy communities, and that many continue to need urgent support, the charity has urged support for the Fly the Red Ensign campaign and for donations to help respond to the increased need for support.
The Merchant Navy Fund is a joint fund created by The Seafarers' Charity and The Merchant Navy Welfare Board.
President of The Seafarers' Charity HRH The Earl of Wessex said: 'On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign by The Seafarers' Charity to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage, and support the future of the personnel of our Merchant Navy.'
Chief executive of The Seafarers' Charity Catherine Spencer said: 'Merchant Navy Day is such a special day to recognise the incredibly important role of our seafarers. This year, as the impact of Covid-19 hits supply lines the public are much more familiar with how vital shipping is to keep shelves stocked.
'Our Merchant Navy have operated through the chaos of the pandemic to keep supplies moving, building on the long and proud history of supporting the nation in times of need, just as they did during World War One and Two. We hope you will join with us in Flying the Red Ensign to support seafarers and that you will consider donating to the Merchant Navy Fund.'