Earlier this year the Fishermen’s Mission helped a fisherman who had a bad accident aboard a local vessel. He was in hospital for several weeks and when he got home there was a delay before he was able to claim any of the benefits to which he was entitled. The Mission was able to find help to buy food and other basics until he was provided for, and we left word that he should get in touch if more assistance was necessary.
He contacted Peter in July and apologised for asking, but he had no money and no food in the house. The sorry tale unfolded, and was not as simple as it seemed, mostly caused as a result of the severe injuries he had sustained, but he was now on his own, and, as he had not been co-operating, his benefits had been reduced severely, to an extent that made it impossible for him to make ends meet.
The Mission do not make moral judgments on our fishermen’s behaviour, and the immediate need for food was met at once, with the assurance that we will be there for him. He is getting professional help with his benefits from Welfare Rights and a case worker from NHS, so the financial problems should be solved in due course. Peter feels that his role is to support him in a pastoral fashion until his life returns to some semblance of order. He has offered to accompany him to any interviews he may have to face regarding his income. With the professional support and the care offered by the Mission through Peter we trust that he will be able to avoid that and make an early return to his working life again.