A Path Through The Darkness

Posted on Friday 15th July 2022

“I thought life without fishing was a life with no future. The practical help, guidance and friendly support of the Grimsby Fishermen’s Mission over many years has given me new hope – a path out of my darkness.”

For Alan Hanley there was only one path in life. Fishing was in his blood. Alan remembers exciting
boyhood days fishing on his father’s boat. With his school days finished, Alan became a fisherman from Grimsby.
Used to battling mighty seas and the harshest of conditions, Alan spent 11 years at sea, but his toughest challenge was still to come. Initially, it was just a little blurred eyesight – things appeared not as sharp as usual. Alan consulted an optician who diagnosed a serious degenerative eye condition.

He continued fishing for a while but was soon forced to give up. He could no longer do the job he was born to do, the job he loved.

Like many of our fishermen, Alan Hanley is the epitome of resilience. As his world became dark around him, he reached out to the Grimsby Fishermen’s Mission. Assisted by the

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, our Grimsby Port team supplied a specially adapted computer for Alan to use.
After a spell as an IT consultant, he retrained and is now a qualified teacher. Alan comments;

“I thought life without fishing was a life with no future. The practical help, guidance and friendly support of the Grimsby Fishermen’s Mission over many years has given me new hope – a path out of my darkness.”

Grimsby Fishermen’s Mission Port Officer Suesan Brown meets with Alan during weekly gatherings of the fishing community at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre. Suesan says:

“Our support for Alan continues – recently his bathroom has become unsafe to use so we are finding him more suitable accommodation as he deals with his condition. It’s been
amazing to see how Alan has moved from the wheelhouse to the classroom and we feel proud to be a part of Alan’s journey.”

For whatever the reason,
ex-fishermen can struggle when they leave their boats and the sea behind. Your continued support means we can guide them into a hopeful future.