Aberdeen Harbour Sponsors Seafarers Centre
Aberdeen Harbour Board has pledged to provide financial support to the Aberdeen Seafarer Centre to the total value of £60,000 over the next three years.
Located in the city’s Market Street, the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre opened its doors in December 2011 and now provides support to the more than 100,000 crew members who visit Aberdeen harbour each year.
The centre, which is a registered charity, offers comfort, welfare and practical advice to crew members visiting the port whilst also providing a range of recreational activities, including a games room and free wi-fi for visitors. Particularly popular is the complimentary internet access, which provides many crew members, especially those from far afield, with often their only means of contacting home.
The centre is situated directly adjacent to the Aberdeen Harbour and within walking distance of Aberdeen city centre and is open seven days a week from 18.00- 22.00.
The centre is managed by Aberdeen Harbour chaplain, Pastor Howard Drysdale, who said: “Many of the seafarers who dock in Aberdeen are spending anything up to nine months away from home, family, loved ones and friends – particularly those from the Philippines and other Far East nations. The Seafarers Centre offers them a chance to relax onshore and enjoy some time away from their ships and to contact home.” Visitors can enjoy a relaxing game of pool, watch TV or just simply talk to centre volunteers about issues than affect them.
Mr Drysdale added: “The centre is staffed by volunteers, many are former seafarers or have some connection to the sea, but we are keen to welcome people to from all backgrounds to come and help us.”
Volunteers carry out a variety of functions including visiting ships to offer support and listen to the concerns of crew members. Others offer their services to keep the Seafarers Centre running and supporting those who visit, or help with fundraising. The centre is funded by a range of sponsors, but is always keen to source additional support.
Aberdeen Harbour chief executive Colin Parker said: “Howard and the volunteers at the Seafarers Centre carry out a tremendously valuable service to the many crew members who use the facility. The Harbour Board is delighted to commit its support to such a valuable resource.”
Source & Photo © aberdeen-harbour.co.uk