Two organisations become Maritime Charity Partners for Hartlepool Tall Ships Races 2023

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Two organisations with seafarers at heart will look after the welfare of hundreds of crew members at this summer’s Hartlepool Tall Ships Races.

Stella Maris and The Mission to Seafarers have agreed to become Maritime Charity Partners during what will be one of the UK’s biggest free events of the year.

More than 35 tall ships from around the world will weigh anchor into Hartlepool from July 6-9.

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Stella Maris and The Mission to Seafarers will manage the crew centre at Irvine’s Quay, supporting crew members with any welfare needs.

They will also share a stall in the community zone where the charities will be looking to recruit new volunteers.

Both organisations have developed comprehensive ship visiting networks throughout the world.

Stella Maris volunteers already look after the welfare of the crews of cargo ships when they dock in the Tees and Hartlepool.

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Peter Barrigan, the regional port chaplain for Stella Maris, said: “It is so exciting to be part of such a huge event.

"I like football and I see this as the World Cup of the yachting world – it is great that the World Cup is coming to Hartlepool. We will be there to help.”

Brenda Bland, a volunteer welfare ship visitor, added: “We deal with the spiritual side of life, providing practical and emotional support to the men and women while they are away from home.

"The Tall Ships Races is an iconic event. The ships immediately catch your attention, they are a magnificent sight and from around the world – meaning the crews are from all over the world too. It’s a fantastic prospect to think so many will be heading to Hartlepool.”

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And the Mission to Seafarers has served the needs of Seafarers in Hartlepool since 1861 and works in 50 countries in over 200 ports.

Allison Liddle, the mission’s local welfare officer and ship visitor, said: “We will look after them, make sure we are there and available. We also want to make the public aware of what we do.

"We’d love to hear from people who could help with assisting seafarers who visit our Centres and driving them to and from their ships.”

There are a number of volunteer roles available at the event.