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The Mission to Seafarers, located on Hannell Street Wickham, provides a warm and welcoming “home away from home” to approximately 13,000 International seafarers annually.  Many seafarers are away from home for 80-90% of their lives and miss lots of the small, everyday basics that we take for granted.  Sharing a meal with family around the table, being able to contact and speak with family and friends whenever they want to, and feeling the ground under their feet, are all rare luxuries for seafarers.

The Mission volunteers transport seafarers by bus from their ship in port to the Hannell Street Mission where they are welcomed with a smile into the relaxing environment, with free internet available for them to contact families and friends back home.  Most importantly they also enjoy delicious Aussie meals, prepared with great care in the Mission’s kitchen. 
Previously the main living room was furnished with large, imposing timber tables that weren’t very homely and made it difficult for the seafarers to sit in small groups, talk and relax.

Well that has all now changed.

With grateful thanks to the funding provided through the NCIG Community grants, the Mission to Seafarers Newcastle has been able to buy some new café style settings for their visiting seafarers.  The new tables and chairs are more personal and intimate, giving the seafarers a more homely environment to enjoy in port.

The meal table is a place of memory, where the family gathers, the symbol of solidarity, or indeed the backdrop to family stories.  NCIG’s generosity through its Community grant has made this a reality for seafarers, and as one seafarer said recently “We love coming here, this is our home”.

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