Four recipients have been chosen to receive the Merchant Navy Welfare Board's (MNWB) prestigious annual award.
Paula Daly, Robert Campbell, Sandy Nairne and Sister Mary Scholastica are the recipients of 2023's Annual Award for Service to Seafarers' Welfare – announced on World Maritime Day.
The award, now in its 35th year, is given to individuals who have provided an exceptional level of welfare service to seafarers and fishers, either in a voluntary or professional capacity.
Ms Daly has been the mission area officer in southwest Scotland for Fishermen's Mission – the national charity that works to support fishers and their families – for over 13 years. She has oversight for 246 clients, with direct responsibility for supporting 100 of these, and supports clients at 48 different ports and harbours. Most recently, she was at the heart of connecting with survivors of human trafficking in Scotland.
Her colleague Mr Campbell, a retired fisher, has been a volunteer at Fishermen's Mission for over 20 years in Northern Ireland.
Mr Nairne was the former deputy chair of the Seafarers Hospital Society before stepping down earlier this year after nearly four decades of service – including an integral role in the formation of the Seafarers' Advice & Information Line (SAIL) service and championing the SeaFit programme.
Sister Mary is the nun in-charge of Stella Maris' Seafarers' Centre in the Port of Sunderland. As well as starting and running the seafarers' centre, she also goes above and beyond by providing vessels at the port with internet modems to enable seafarers to contact their loved ones at home, as well as providing goody bags of shampoo and toothpaste during ship visits.
Stuart Rivers, CEO of MNWB said: 'Our award recipients are truly inspiring. They are such dedicated ambassadors to the maritime sector and have given so much of their time and wisdom over many years of service.'
All nominations were received from the Board's 43 constituent members and 16 Port Welfare Committees, and the recipients will be given their awards at the MNWB's annual conference in Southampton from 21-22 November 2023.