Our Charity Programme encapsulates three different aspects, relating to the mental welfare of crews, environmental protection and education.
2020 saw the establishment of a long-term charity programme. We made initial commitments to three selected charities for 10 years’ financial support of the chosen activities and projects, as well as continuing our commitment to local charities through regional offices.
Long term support from West will help Africa’s second largest marine reserve resume some much-needed forward momentum thanks to a solid, future proofed management plan, writes Dr Jude Brown from Blue Marine Foundation.
Sailors’ Society was founded in 1818 and is represented globally in 90 ports. The Society is dedicated to caring for merchant seafarers from around the world, irrespective of their country of origin. West has committed to long-term sponsorship of Sailors’ Society’s 'Wellness at Sea' coaching programme.
Sadly, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of crew facing mental health problems including depression and even suicide. Such health problems are often-overlooked and yet we all rely on crewmembers to deliver an essential service to the marine industry.
West believes that the “Wellness at Sea” programme not only supports the individual crewmember, but owners, managers and vessel operators who invest in the mental wellbeing of their crew will see direct benefits in the efficiency of their vessels and a reduction in accidents.
Blue Marine Foundation
The Blue Marine Foundation is a UK based marine conservation charity, which brings knowledge and management skills to projects aimed at restoring health to the oceans. They have expertise in developing environmental management models that deliver conservation gains along with prosperity to the coastal communities.
West’s initial sponsorship is to support Blue Marine’s Namibian project where they are working with the Namibia Nature Foundation to develop a management plan for the Namibian Islands Marine Protected Area. This is the second largest declared marine protected area in Africa. This management plan will attract additional resources and help it reach its’ full potential as a marine reserve where species can recover in a protected environment.
National Oceanography Center
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton England is one of the world’s top Oceanographic research centres and plays an important role in the education and training of future generations of scientists attracting students from many nations, fostering the promotion of excellence through training and research.
West is pleased to announce the establishment of the Seagoing Science Bursary in collaboration with NOC. The bursary has been set up to enable students and early career scientists, or those from developing countries who are keen to become involved in the field of marine science or oceanography, to gain practical experience of ship borne science. The bursary will be managed by the NOC over the next ten years, and will enable the recipients to join sea going expeditions on the NOC’s two world-class research vessels the RRS James Cook and RRS Discovery, as well as other vessels involved in its research projects.
West views this as a vital opportunity to assist the future ocean scientists in a vital step in their education.
Community at West
Feeding Hong Kong
Feeding Hong Kong’s mission is to reduce food waste and to bring food from where it is plentiful to where there is a need. The charity rescues food from producers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers - food that is still good and safe to eat, but would otherwise go to waste.
They supply food to local charities running community programmes - their partners include senior centres, crisis shelters, central kitchens, after school programmes and food banks.
In addition, they educate Hong Kong about better managing food as a resource and run training and education initiatives to drive change in the community. There are regular Food Drives organised for collection of direct donations of nutrient packed canned goods, as well as dried goods for storage in and distribution from the Feeding Hong Kong warehouse.
West was introduced a few years ago to the good work of Feeding Hong Kong by our friends at Latitude Brokers. Together we organise an annual informal gathering around the West office Christmas tree to encourage donations from our colleagues in the shipping industry. In addition our regular ongoing support for Feeding Hong Kong, as part of West’s 150th anniversary charity programme, we are pleased to announce a commitment by West to make an annual donation for three years to the annual Dragon Drive, which will be equivalent to provision of 5,000 meals annually.
West’s office in Greece has been actively supporting Symplefsi a local charity founded in 2014 by a team of doctors, nurses and other volunteers whose mission is to provide easy access to a range of doctors to the inhabitants of remote Greek islands .
They also invest in infrastructure projects and educational material for schools. In the past 6 years Symplefsi has carried out more than 4,000 medical examinations including ultrasounds, spirometry tests, cardiographs, biopsies and Pap smear tests.
Symplefsi has also inaugurated numerous infrastructure projects , improving the standard of living of local residents. Every Aegean mission also includes various cultural events which help keep alive local and national traditions.
The Club has been supporting Symplefsi with an annual
donation towards the purchase of educational, technological and recreational
equipment for the local schools and teachers’ in these remote communities.