THE IMPORTANCE of a Chichester-based national charity was highlighted as it launched its Christmas card appeal.
The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society was visited by mayor Alan Chaplin, ahead of the cards going on sale.
“I think they do a first-class job and I’m pleased they’re here,” he said afterwards.
The charity provides financial help to ex-merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependants who are suffering hardship.
In the past year grants totalling £1.46mn were given in 2,313 cases of need.
Chief executive Commodore Malcolm Williams thanked the volunteers for all their hard work, adding the cards were not just about raising money, but also about awareness of the charity, which was founded in 1839.
“You couldn’t invent some of the circumstances in which people sometimes find themselves, often through no fault of their own,” he said.
“It’s often just some item of household equipment that no longer works and if you’re on the minimum state pension with no savings it’s a major problem and we can step in and help.”
Because of the amount the charity spends on helping those in need, he said the Christmas card sales were very important to the charity, particularly in Chichester.
“We have what we believe it a unique collection of maritime-themed cards, including robins who find themselves in the most difficult predicaments,” he said.
“We believe we’ve got a quality product that we sell at a reasonable price.”
To purchase cards, visit the society’s shop at 1, North Pallant Chichester.
It is open from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and 10am-1pm on Saturday (from 16th November).
Visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk, or call 01243 789329 for a catalogue.