Seafarers’ Centre opens at Port of King’s Lynn
November 17, 2014
Seafarers arriving at Associated British Port’s (ABP) Port of King’s Lynn in East Anglia now have a place to call their own with the launch of a Seafarers’ Centre at the port.
Initiated by seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) and largely funded by the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB), the facility offers visiting crew a dedicated space to relax and communicate with their families back home.
Sister Marian Davey, AoS Port Chaplian at King’s Lynn, said; “It is the first time in the port’s recent history that a space has been set aside specifically for seafarers to use.
“Up until now, crew had to go into town to buy top-up cards to be able to contact home. Now they have free use of Wi-Fi and internet at the centre because AoS is paying for that cost.”
ABP’s Ports of King’s Lynn plays a vital part in connecting the region to ports across the North Sea and beyond. Therefore it is often the case that seafarers use the port as a place to rest and contact loved ones.
The Seafarers Centre was formally opened by Bishop Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia and Bob Jones, Chairman of the MNWB.
It will be a place where seafarers can chat with the port chaplain and volunteers as well as access the internet to communicate with friends and families after months at sea.
This facility will provide much needed respite and support crew members by:
• Providing seafarers with the opportunity to contact friends and family,
• Looking after seafarers who are abandoned in port, those who are sick or injured
• Providing seafarers the opportunity to attend church services or to pray if requested by the seafarers themselves.
Alastair McFarlane, Port Manager East Anglia, said; “We owe a great deal of gratitude to the brave men and women who operate the vessels that keep this nation supplied. So we are really proud to be part of delivering this vital service to crew visiting the port of King’s Lynn. Seafarers spend a lot of time on board their ships and with this service we can offer them a home away from home.”
Sister Marian added that she was grateful to ABP for offering AoS a prime site at a very good location in the port for the Seafarers’ Centre.
“The location is excellent and works well for seafarers coming off ships. Everyone at ABP, from management and staff to the shipping agents, has been encouraging and supportive, and measures are in place to ensure that seafarers coming ashore have all the information they need about the AoS centre,” she said.
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