Whether it’s the price paid at market, the scarcity if fish or just gossip about other crews and skippers you will rarely find fishermen short of a word or two.
South Wales Skipper John loved nothing more than passing the day with a good yarn and warm cuppa. But when cancer struck and John underwent surgery to remove his tongue, his life was drastically impacted. Into John’s despair steps Chrissy King, Fishermen’s Mission Superintendent for South Wales. Chrissy organised a laptop for John and funding for broadband access. Chrissy comments,
“It may seem a very practical solution but this laptop has transformed John’s life, giving him back the voice he once had. John can now shop online and keep in touch with his friends and family, something we all take for granted”
Giving our fishermen a voice is something the Fishermen’s Mission is often called upon to do. This could mean accompanying a retired fisherman at a medical appointment or speaking as an advocate for fisherman in court. Chrissy speaks of a typical case,
“Recent changes to the system has seen some sick or retired fishermen have their benefits cut. They struggle financially and are unable to pay their bills. As well as securing funding from the Seafarers Hospital Society and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society to help in such circumstances I have successfully appealed decision to cut benefits through the courts. I recently spoke to a fishermen whose benefits are now reinstated with eight months’ back payment made”
Chrissy has been serving the fishing ports of South Wales since 2012. Every day is different as Chrissy combines outreach welfare work around the coastline with funding tasks and leading Sea Sunday services. There are good days when a simple visit can make all the difference to the life of a lonely fisherman’s widow. There are dark days also, such as in 2016 when three Milford Haven fishermen lost their lives fishing in the space of one week. Superintendent Chrissy King serves the fishermen of South Wales by giving them a voice, so let’s leave the last word to her.
“I feel very privileged to be a part of the Fishermen’s Mission family. Your support means I am able to go into fishermen’s homes in time of need and be a trusted friend who can listen and speak up for our fishermen. Thank you and Pob Bendith”