Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Princess Royal visits Southampton seafarers' centre

The Princess Royal has visited Southampton to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Mission to Seafarers' centre.

The Queens Terrace facility is visited by thousands of seafarers who pass through the city's docks each year.

It was designed to help them keep in touch with their families.

At a reception on board Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 on Friday, Princess Anne thanked some of the mission's volunteers for their work.

The building offers visiting mariners access to the internet and telephones so that they can contact their loved ones.

There is also a lounge, a chapel and a port chaplain on hand to provide counselling and advice.

The mission's Southampton chaplain, the Reverend Andrew Huckett, said: "Seafarers routinely spend up to a year away from their loved ones and on top of the dangers of bad weather and the threat of pirates, the isolation and loneliness that come with the job can be difficult to handle.

"That is why the centre is so important. For a few hours a seafarer can get away from the ship and speak to someone who isn't their crewmate."

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