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ISWAN and ATPI partner to improve seafarer welfare: Part 3

In this 3-part mini-series, we sit down with Alan Croft, Business Development Manager at ISWAN, to discuss the partnership between ISWAN and ATPI and what this means for seafarers.
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Part three discusses the future of ISWAN, how you can get involved and a recent award that ISWAN picked up.

1. What are your plans for the future of ISWAN, and how do you see the organisation evolving in the years to come?

We will be working to raise the profile and position of ISWAN as a respected catalyst for delivering change to improve the lives of seafarers and their families. One way of achieving this will be by growing our membership network, building a community that is resourceful to its members, offering access to information and data that provides cross-sector knowledge of best practice. 

We will continue to Improve our processes and make better use of technology to meet the changing needs of seafarers. We aim to continue our development in becoming a truly international organisation that becomes financially and operationally sustainable, reducing our reliance on grant funding, lessening our environmental footprint, and increasing our presence around the world.

2. How can individuals or companies get involved with ISWAN and support your work?

ISWAN membership is a great way for companies and organisations to support our organisation, as the growth of our membership network enables us to continue assisting seafarers and their families worldwide, whilst influencing positive change across the maritime industry. Companies and organisations can enquire about ISWAN membership benefits and costs by contacting  alan.croft@iswan.org.uk or by following this link

3. How can the wider public become more aware of the challenges facing seafarers, and what can we do to support and advocate for their rights and wellbeing?

As we continue to listen and learn from seafarers, we develop a greater understanding of their needs. With this, it is the duty of our industry to grow awareness, working collaboratively to educate the wider public of the challenges facing seafarers today and how valuable they are to the global economy. As awareness grows, so too will the pressure on companies to ensure seafarers’ welfare becomes their top priority. The maritime industry will only thrive with healthy and happy workforces. We share this goal, so we must work together to achieve it.  

4. You recently won the Welfare and Social Responsibility Award at the CrewConnect Global conference in the Philippines, what does this mean for you and are there any moments that lead to this award that you are proud of? 

This win recognises the important role that our free, 24-hour helpline SeafarerHelp played in supporting seafarers during the incredibly difficult challenges they have faced in recent times. Throughout the pandemic, our trained, multilingual helpline team fielded questions about crew change, shore leave, and mental health concerns. SeafarerHelp has also been especially important during the Ukraine war in referring Ukrainian seafarers to crisis help funding administered by ISWAN. Receiving this prestigious award was a rewarding end to a big year for us – we were honoured to be chosen from such a strong group of finalists, who have all made a positive difference to the lives of seafarers and the wider maritime community over the last year.

We were also honoured to receive the 2022 SAFETY4SEA Crew Welfare Organisation Award and the 2022 BIC Award last year, and we recently received the ‘Excellence in Seafarers’ Welfare award at the 16th ShipTek International Maritime Awards 2023. We are very proud for our work to be recognised by the industry and we hope awareness of ISWAN will continue to grow so we can reach those who need us.

Photographer: Philip Apuang

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