Caring for active and retired fishermen across the Western Isles, the Fishermen’s Mission is ideally placed to give the best possible support to the fishing community.
The fishing industry has been hit hard as the devastating effects of coronavirus continue to be felt.
William Macleod, Fishermen’s Mission Area Officer in Stornoway, explains: “As for many others, this has already been a very tough year for our fishermen with markets closing and prices falling and now the threat of more disruption.
“We have to be realistic and recognise that coronavirus will continue to impact our lives for months to come.
“Already this year we have, with help from our partners, administered thousands of pounds in individual grants to help with living costs across the islands. We are aware from experience that many would rather get into debt than ask for help.
“In answer to this, I encourage those who find themselves in that position to contact us in confidence at any time. The grants we administer come from funds raised by seafarers and friends whose heartfelt desire is to support the fishing community in times of need. So, please don’t wait until it’s too late, give us a call today – we are here for you.”
The Fishermen’s Mission supports active and retired fishermen and those working on the wet side of aquaculture, including their immediate families – wives, partners, young children, other dependants, and also widows.
They can all approach the Stornoway Fishermen’s Mission at any time. The Mission can provide help with hearth and home and the essentials of life as well as signposting clients to more specialist services if needs be.
Some fishing families may face the dilemma of ‘heat or eat’ this winter but that can be avoided by contacting the Fishermen’s Mission.
William Macleod also explains how the Fishermen’s Mission can help retired fishermen and their dependants as winter arrives: “We know that as the temperature drops and the weather gets severe, life can become increasingly hard for our elderly fishing community.
“The Fishermen’s Mission can again offer support with practical help around the home such as enhanced heating or replacement windows. Anything that helps keep the home windproof and watertight may be possible so please don’t sit at home in unhealthy conditions – give us a call in complete confidence and we can see what may be possible.”
In times of crisis, the presence of the Fishermen’s Mission in our local fishing ports and harbours has never been more essential. They remain a trusted friend, always ready to listen, to offer guidance and practical support whatever the future may hold.
Although Fishermen’s Mission Area Officer William Macleod may not be able to meet clients face to face due to current restrictions the support available has not diminished in any way as William explains: “Most of our staff are now working from home but we’re managing to successfully provide the majority of our services remotely over the telephone and through the internet. We very much miss meeting with clients but under the circumstances this has been working well.
“We are still here and ready to help anyone in our fishing community and again I encourage any who are anxious about how they will cope or worried about what the future months will bring, to please get in touch.”
You can contact William at the Stornoway Fishermen’s Mission by calling the dedicated number 01851 704424 or the mobile: 07774 814034 or email: [email protected]