“William contacted me following knee surgery that prevented him from working. Without income, William was desperately worried he would lose his small family home. His meagre savings were soon exhausted and mortgage arrears started to build up.
“On meeting William, I reassured him that we would do anything possible to help. I recall the difficulty he had getting upstairs with a very swollen and sore knee. But like many proud fishermen, William faced adversity head-on.
“William’s link to fishing in Fleetwood ran deep, with roots back in Buckie. Support from the Fishermen’s Mission eased William’s financial difficulties and the next few months looked more hopeful. Once again, the sea was calling, and William was ready to answer that call.
“Wally tells me, “The next best thing to being out at sea, is looking at it from your own balcony.” For several weeks, Wally thought he might not see the sea again. During a stay at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Wally picked up Covid-19. Wally’s new flat urgently needed carpeting and a working washing machine once he moved in. We helped with that, but Wally was distressed – the virus had taken a keen hold and he did not know if he would be able to look out across the waters of Morecambe Bay again. “A life spent at sea in the harshest conditions builds resilience. It was a long haul, but Wally did recover and made it home. He was overjoyed to finally be looking out to sea, where he hoped he would soon return. “The sea is in my blood. My father before me, my uncles, and my friends have all been fishermen and seafarers.” A fisherman and the sea – a bond reunited.”