The Seafarer's Charity

For over a hundred years, The Seafarers’ Charity has been supporting UK and international seafarers in their times of need.

Seafarers logo

Previously known as Seafarers UK, The Seafarers’ Charity provides grants to organisations which support those who work – or have worked – at sea, and their families.

Through funding collaboration, research and advocacy, The Seafarers’ Charity is working towards tackling the root causes of seafarer hardship and disadvantage both in the UK and around the world.

The Seafarers’ Charity is working in partnership with Relate to provide access to free relationship support and counselling, to help the fishing and seafaring communities to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

Seafarers face particular pressures as working at sea can have an effect on both couple and family relationships - long periods spent away from loved ones, often not being at home for funerals, birthdays, anniversaries and family get togethers can cause issues, as can financial pressures caused by unpredictable income. We are making Relate counselling available free of charge to all fishers and their families as well as anyone working in the Merchant Navy and their dependents.
Deborah Layde, Chief Executive at The Seafarers' Charity

What can Relate help with?

There are many reasons why working at sea can have an effect on couple and family relationships such as financial pressures caused by unpredictable income, the physical hazards of working at sea, time spent away from loved ones and not being at home for birthdays and anniversaries.

That’s why The Seafarers’ Charity has made free Relate counselling available to all fishers and anyone working in any capacity in the merchant navy. Dependants of both fishers and merchant navy employees can also access the service.

What’s on offer?

Chat with a counsellor

Need help with the day-to-day problems that come up in the relationships in your life? Or maybe you just need the chance to get something off your chest? Our Chat with a Counsellor session offers you a 30-minute phone session with one of our counsellors.  We know your time is important so we'll do our best to see you on the same day, or within 24 hours.

During your session, our experienced counsellors provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to express your concerns. You'll gain clarity and practical next steps to navigate your journey, and access to resources that can help you further.

Schedule a call

One Session Therapy

One Session Therapy is a new service to help you work through a specific issue quickly with one of our counsellors. You can come alone or attend with a friend, family member or partner so that you can work together on an issue with your counsellor. It's perfect for those who want to strengthen their relationship, but don't think their area of concern needs to be addressed over the traditional six sessions of counselling.  

You might have a single big problem in your relationships which you feel like you can't move forward from, or you might be struggling to communicate through one issue. One Session Therapy provides you with the tools you need to make sense of things and practical steps to take action. 

It lasts one hour and can be done on Zoom from one or two different locations and we’ll try to see you within 24 hours, at a time that’s convenient for you. 

Schedule a call

Relationship Counselling

Whether you’re facing difficulties in your relationship or you'd just like to get to know your partner better, Relationship Counselling can make a real difference. 

Counselling provides a supportive, confidential and caring environment in which you can talk over any problems and think about ways to address them. 

The Seafarers’ Charity will pay for up to six Relationship Counselling sessions.

Family Counselling

Families can be a source of support, encouragement and love, but sometimes relationships within families are put under strain and family members feel overlooked or misunderstood. 

Family Counselling can include nuclear and extended family members, separated parents, children and step families attending together or at different times. The focus is on the family system and improving the relationships in the family.

Up to six Family Counselling sessions are available.

Sex Therapy

Sex Therapy can help if you're experiencing difficulties in your love life and can help you to improve physical intimacy.

Up to 12 free Sex Therapy sessions are available.

Children and Young People’s Counselling

Children and Young People's (CYP) Counselling is for any child or young person who is having problems. Whether it's depression, anger issues, mental health concerns or issues with parents or people at school.

Up to six free sessions are available.

How is counselling delivered?

All the available services can be delivered over the phone, by video call or face-to-face, meaning you can get in touch whichever way suits you best.

Who is eligible to access the Support Services?

All Relate support services are available to current and former employees of the fishing and merchant navy seafaring communities, and their dependents. This includes any person who works at sea such as those working on ferries, tankers and support vessels.

Whether you're married, living together, in a same-sex relationship, separated, divorced, widowed or single, we can help.

Are these services confidential?

Relate counselling is a private and confidential form of help. We hold information about each of our clients and the counselling they receive in confidence. This means that we will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone outside the organisation.

However, there are exceptional cases where Relate might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example, if we had reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

We will discuss any proposed disclosure with you unless we believe that to do so could increase the level of risk to you or to someone else.

Where Relate are providing the counselling on behalf of an employer/funder, the employer/funder may provide Relate with a unique reference number for each client.

This allows Relate to work with the employer/funder, where a client may require further sessions and Relate need to seek permission to do so by providing the unique reference number and a rationale.

In all cases, the confidential details of the sessions will not be shared with the employer/funder.

How to access the services

To access the services contact SAIL.

Call: 0800 160 1842 or email: and ask for a referral to Relate.

Please see our terms and conditions for more details.