Introducing the Bremerhaven Seafarer Centre and Seamen’s Club Welcome, Winners of the Seafarers' Centre of the Year Award 2015

The Seafarers' Centre of the Year Award is bestowed upon the seafarers' centre that has done the most to provide the highest quality of welfare services and facilities to visiting seafarers.

Who are Bremerhaven Seafarer Centre and Seamen's Club Welcome?

Bremerhaven Seafarer Centre and Seamen's Club Welcome are two centres run by the Deutsche Seemannsmission, with the Centre offering accommodation for seafarers.

What services are provided for seafarers by the centres?

Some of the services provided at these centres include free internet use, telephones, a money transfer service, sports facilities such as snooker and table tennis, a prayer room and pastoral care.
 
At the Seemannsheim, 36 beds are available, as well as a garden and entertainment options, such as karaoke. They also provide a transport service for seafarers coming from cruise ships to the centres. Professional welfare workers provide ship visiting services and, for the first time in 2014, every cruise ship calling at Bremerhaven was visited.

In 2014, the Bremerhaven team took care of 15 Seafarers that had to stay in hospital. Two members of the team have also become involved in the CCME (Central Command for Maritime Emergencies) to support crisis intervention for seafarers.

What other activities have they organised?

In 2014, they organised two cultural projects to demonstrate a modern seafarer's life to the general public, with a theatre performance in the port, as well as a photo documentary and public exhibition named "Cargonauten".

What does winning mean to Bremerhaven Seafarer Centre/ Seamen's Club Welcome?

"Winning of the award is a great appreciation for the whole staff of our centre. It also makes a region proud of having such a successful institution. Plenty of people working in the port or supporting the Seafarers Centre identify themselves with this success. Winning the award... enlarges and strengthens the network for seafarers' welfare. More stakeholders in the port and town realise that it is necessary and helpful to support seafarers' welfare as an essential part of a modern port."

What has been happening at Bremerhaven since the awards?

Since winning, the Bremerhaven centres have started a new service: seafarers can now rent a bicycle for free, in order to reach the town which is a few kilometres from the port.

What plans do the centres have over the coming year?

The centres are also developing the support available for seafarers in local hospitals. This year, the team have helped over twenty seafarers needing assistance, but hope to reach out to even more who are in need of help.
The port is now planning for the Christmas season, and is collecting warm clothes – such as gloves, scarves and jumpers – for seafarers, who often arrive unprepared for the cold weather in Northern Germany. The team are also preparing around 1200 Christmas gifts, and various seasonal celebrations.

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