MNA Coronavirus Update
To All MNA Members
We hope this finds you and your families safe and well at this difficult time. To date have we have received no calls or contacts from anyone in need of help or advice, but if you do need us, contact details are contained in our Full Ahead and online at: https://mna.org.uk/index.php/contact-us
Working with other organisations A number of new sources of emergency funding have been made available from larger charities. Among the maritime sector these include Seafarers UK, Shipwrecked Mariners and SAIL. Importantly government has pledged well over £700 million for the UK charity sector and has also responded positively to lobbying from NCVO and COBSEO, both of which we are members.
The National Secretary represents The Merchant Navy Association at meetings of the maritime charities and key organisations, chaired by the MNWB - of which we are also a Constituent member.
Our membership of CONA (Confederation of Naval Associations) is also proving to be a positive experience and especially now with the extended choices of help and advice that a much larger organisation can offer. They are linked with a number of other charities, including two below that are engaged in help with funerals and bereavement.
Bereavement During this global coronavirus pandemic, some of us may face the tragic loss of life of someone close, often under very difficult circumstances. This includes being unable to attend at the hospital or care home bedside, whilst numbers allowed to attend funerals are very small.
Coping with grief and trauma is hard at this time and support is always welcome and often essential. Being bereaved can be an extremely lonely time. Talking with family, friends and shipmates can be one of the most helpful ways to cope in such times. We can all support our shipmates by phone, text or e-mail at such times, even when we are all in some form of isolation. Importantly there are also two other useful sources of support:
For adult bereavement – Cruse is a national charity offering support for adults at a time of bereavement. It has an excellent National Freephone Helpline on 0808 808 1677 open Monday-Friday 0930-1700 (excluding bank holidays) with hours extended to 2000 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
For childhood bereavement - Winston's Wish is the UK's leading childhood bereavement charity, which supports children and their families after the death of a parent or sibling. Their National Freephone Helpline 0808 8020021 (open between 0900 – 1700, Monday to Friday). Note This is a messaging service using voicemail asking you to leave your first name and a contact number. A Helpline Practitioner will call back as soon as possible.
Their website is https://www.winstonswish.org/coronavirus/
Stay home, stay safe and stay well.
Our good wishes to you all
On behalf of the MNA Council