A SOUTH Tyneside charity manager is spearheading a national campaign to help lonely seafarers this Christmas.
The Mission to Seafarers’ global maritime welfare charity has launched a national radio campaign in the UK to help raise awareness of their work and bring in vital funds to support sailors in need over the festive period.
It is being led by Dianne Erskine, centre manager of the South Shields Mission to Seafarers in Mill Dam.
Ms Erskine has spoken to all parts of the country by podcast – a digital recording – about her experiences of helping sailors over the winter holiday period.
She said: “Today’s technology is perfect for the seafarer to be able to see as well as talk to their family.
“Particularly at this time of year, it’s very important for their children to be in contact with them.
“Sometimes they are away from home 10 months of the year.
“Our priority at the mission have always been to ensure that the crews have regular contact with home and family whenever possible so we provide computers, WiFi, call cards and SIMs.
“The most important part of our work, especially at Christmas, is to actually be there.
“They might just need five minutes, just to talk to somebody other than another crew member.”
The mission provides emergency assistance, practical support, and a friendly welcome to crews visiting over 260 ports around the world in 71 countries.
To make a donation, text SEND22 £10 (or an alternative amount) to 70070.