We were established in 1996 as part of Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureaux with funding from the Seamen’s Hospital Society. Originally known as the Seafarers’ Benefits Advice Line (or SBal for short), we quickly built up our profile, attracting clients from all over the UK and developing relationships with the seafaring community. We now deal with around 1,000 clients every year.
Since 2007 we have received additional funding from a range of sources, including the Maritime Charities Funding Group, Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Seafarers UK. This has enabled us to extend our opening hours, expand our service, and develop expertise in debt advice. Seafarers UK has continued to support us on an ongoing basis and their contribution now covers approximately half of our running costs.