New Mission to Seafarers Centre to open in Great Yarmouth
2013: A stalwart supporter of Great Yarmouth’s seafaring workforce is celebrating after securing a base on dry land to provide his specialist services.
For six years, Port Chaplain, Rev Peter Paine, has worked from the back of his car – acting as a friendly face and point of contact for the scores of sailors and workers that pass through the town’s port every year.
But he will now be able to welcome visitors into a designated building on South Quay after the Great Yarmouth Port Company – along with the Borough Council – provided premises for him to work from. Rev Paine said he was extremely grateful for his new base, which will enable him to provide advice, support, and facilities for workers coming ashore (the previous one was demolished six years ago).
He added: “I’m delighted. I’ve been pushing for one because I’ve always felt we’ve needed one. The centre will provide internet access and a telephone line for seafarers. It will also be a place where they can come and relax off the ship and raise any queries they have.”
The Seafarers Centre will be open on a 24/7 basis and is hoped to be up and running in six weeks’ time.
Eliza O’Toole, Vice Chair of Great Yarmouth Port Company, said the firm was delighted to further help the chaplaincy – which it already supports financially – by providing the building for the Seafarers Centre.
Eliza said: "Having supported the service provided by the Port Chaplaincy financially since taking over the port, we are delighted to expand our support to establish a home for the Great Yarmouth Seafarers Centre within the port estate which will provide a valuable service supporting the crews of visiting vessels. We will be providing accommodation and facilities at no cost to the Mission as part of our contribution to the port community as a whole. We wish it every success and look forward to a close and ongoing relationship with the Centre."
Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Cllr Trevor Wainwright agreed, saying: "Working closely with Great Yarmouth Port Company, we have been able to locate suitable premises for the Seafarers Centre which increases the service offering of the Port and indeed the town. Further strengthening ties between the Port and the port community is something that I know the Port has been keen to do for some time and this was a great opportunity for us to put our heads together to achieve this."
Rev Paine said the provision of a new base had come at just the right time as demand for his support and advice is increasing all the time and he is now appealing for volunteers to help him run the centre, spread the workload, and make sure it stays open. “I need people to help with the work there and be able to talk to and be friendly to a seafarer” he added. “And also I need people to do ship visiting with me.”
If you would like to join Rev Paine’s team, call 07788111823 or email email@example.com