The ‘S’ in ESG – Maritime Welfare Charities’ Conference and Drinks Reception, Fishmongers’ Hall

LISW23 charity conference announced to discuss seafarer welfare amid sustainability challenges

Maritime charities and industry leaders come together to discuss the importance of seafarer welfare and wellbeing as shipping embraces environmental, social and governance goal

London, 12 September 2023: Held as part of London International Shipping Week 2023, Sailors’ Society, Stella Maris, The Mission to Seafarers and The Seafarers’ Charity are coming together to host a major industry conference on seafarer welfare and wellbeing. The Fishmongers’ Company are very kindly hosting the conference in their beautiful and historic grade ll* listed building, Fishmongers’ Hall, with its unrivalled riverside location, unique history and rich architecture.

The event will open with remarks from the Chair, Julian Clark, Vice President & Senior Legal Advisor, Gard AS, and feature two different panels that will examine how crew welfare is vital as the shipping industry moves toward more sustainable, safe and diverse operations.

The panel discussions will focus on two different themes. The first session will focus on how the maritime charities and industry can further collaborate to improve seafarer welfare. Graham Westgarth, Chairman V Group and President UK Chamber of Shipping, will deliver a keynote speech. The panel will include representatives from Thomas Miller, ISWAN, Gard, Navigator Gas and The Mission to Seafarers.

The second session will discuss how together, the maritime charities and industry can support an increasingly diverse workforce. Heidi Heseltine, Founder, Diversity Study Group Ltd and CEO, Halcyon Recruitment, will deliver the keynote talk. This will be followed by a panel discussion that includes representatives from Sailors’ Society, Stella Maris, The Seafarers’ Charity, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement and Carisbrooke Shipping.

In a joint statement, Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, Chief Executive Officer of Stella Maris, Tim Hill MBE, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, The Revd Canon Andrew Wright and Chief Executive of The Seafarers’ Charity, Deborah Layde, said:

“Seafaring can be tough. This is why the world’s seafarers deserve decent working conditions and support for their welfare. Many shipping companies recognise this, but when they don’t, maritime welfare charities are often relied upon to step in and pick up the pieces. Everyone has a role to play and the least we can do is ensure that seafarers are aware of the range of welfare support that is available to them. Through collaborating as maritime charities with ship owners and managers, P&I Clubs, flag states, legal firms and supra-national bodies we can ensure that the welfare and wellbeing of all seafarers and fishers remains in sharp focus. Working together with the wider industry, we can provide the world’s 1.9 million seafarers and their families with the support and empowerment they need. 

“With many hundreds of years of experience between us, we also recognise that there is a need for change. New internet services will enable seafarers to access welfare support not just in port, but at home and at sea too. We also recognise that more needs to be done to support not only the recruitment, but the retention, of women who choose a career at sea. Research has proven time and again that they have different welfare needs. and just because they are in a minority does not mean these needs should be ignored.”

For more information on the conference, the full agenda, and details on joining virtually, please click here:



About Sailors’ Society:

For more than 200 years, international maritime charity Sailors’ Society has been transforming the lives of seafarers and their families. Today, we provide 24/7 practical, emotional and spiritual welfare support to the world’s 1.89 million seafarers and their families across the globe.  We support seafarer wellbeing across every area of their lives and careers, giving them the best opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling – and productive – career at sea.

About Stella Maris

Stella Maris is a global network of over 1,000 chaplains and volunteers in 353 ports spread across 57 countries. Each year we conduct around 70,000 ship visits to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race. Stella Maris provides a friendly face in a foreign land, someone the seafarer can trust, speak to and confide in.  Working in partnership with the corporate sector we play a crucial role in boosting seafarers’ morale, well-being and mental health.

About The Mission to Seafarers:

The Mission to Seafarers provides help and support to the 1.5 million men and women who face danger every day to keep our global economy afloat. We work in over 200 ports in 50 countries caring for seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs. Through our global network of chaplains, staff and volunteers we offer practical, emotional and spiritual support to seafarers through ship visits, drop-in seafarers’ centres and a range of welfare and emergency support services.

About The Seafarers’ Charity

The Seafarers’ Charity has been improving the lives of seafarers and their families for over 106 years. It started as the King George’s Fund for Sailors, providing vital assistance in troubled times. Today, the charity is evolving guided by the same powerful vision. Through its grant giving, it brings about truly life-changing impact for many who work – or have worked – at sea, and their families. Alongside this it’s also using funding collaboration, research and advocacy to tackle the root causes of seafarer hardship and disadvantage in the UK and around the world.

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