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The UK maritime welfare sector relies on the hard work of volunteers and charity staﬀ – and each year some individuals show an outstanding level of dedication. The 2018 Seafarers' Welfare Conference paid tribute to four of the maritime community’s ﬁnest…
Former seafarer and ex-deputy prime minister Lord Prescott presented a series of awards at the 2018 Seafarers' Welfare Conference to honour exceptional service to crew welfare.
Lord Prescott – who is patron of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board – said he had been proud to serve as a seafarer and to have used his time in politics to secure such things as the tonnage tax and inquiries into the loss of the bulk carrier Derbyshire.
He paid tribute to the work of maritime charities in caring for crews and said the need for their support remains strong, despite the sweeping changes in the shipping industry.
The first award for exceptional service to seafarers' welfare was presented to Alexander Campbell, who has been chief executive of the Queen Victoria Seamen's Rest in London for the past 15 years. 'During that period he has completely transformed the building to provide a very high standard of accommodation for those who have served in the Merchant Navy, whether they be retired or active,' said MNWB chief executive Peter Tomlin.
Mr Campbell was also praised for his work to turn the London Tilbury Seafarers' Centre into a 'modern, fit-for-purpose facility' that is open on a 24/7 basis throughout the year, meeting the needs of visiting crews and 'setting an example for other ports to follow'.
An exceptional service award was also presented to Commodore Barry Bryant, director general of Seafarers UK for the past 16 years. Described as 'a passionate champion of seafarers' welfare and their entitlement to the very highest standards of care and support', he was honoured for his 'outstanding professional and personal commitment to the many and wide-ranging welfare needs of the maritime community'.
A passionate champion of seafarers' welfare and their entitlement to the very highest standards of care and support