THE ITF Seafarers’ Trust has launched an emergency fund to address the impact of the global pandemic on seafarers and their families. The fund also aims to provide a lifeline for welfare services at risk due to the financial impact that coronavirus has had on business and fundraising and activities.

The ITFST Covid-19 Welfare Fund has two main purposes:

  • to facilitate fast grant payments for specific projects to alleviate hardship, stress and isolation of seafarers and their families;
  • to provide funds for the maintenance of seafarers’ welfare services during the period of instability caused by COVID-19 and the measures taken to combat the virus.

The Trust is working closely with the TK Foundation to ensure a co-ordinated approach to funding and a swift response to the multiplicity of issues arising from the impact of the virus on global trade and the maritime community. The TK Foundation is a private foundation supporting non-profit maritime and youth programs.

Dave Heindel, chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust said, “At the best of times seafarers struggle to get recognition for the amazing job they do ensuring the steady flow of household goods, food and commodities around the world. Now they have the incredible stress of being stranded far away from their families at a time of extreme distress. It is critically important that the ITF Seafarers’ Trust is there for them at this time of need”.


Applications can be made through a simplified application process that can be accessed online at:

Head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust Katie Higginbottom added, “As well as providing for seafarers, we also want to make sure that the welfare services that currently offer much appreciated welfare support for seafarers, survive to serve another day after this crisis is over”.

Cases relating to individual seafarers can also be addressed but applications must be made via ITF affiliated unions, ITF inspectors or welfare organisations.

The ITF Seafarers Trust is a UK charity established in 1981, funds programs that advance the wellbeing of maritime workers, seafarers and their families. It is funded by the Trust’s own capital funds, and by the investment income of the Welfare Fund at the International Transport Workers Federation, a global federation of transport workers’ unions with over 4.6m worker members.