Volunteers thanked for caring for visiting seafarers
GLADSTONE'S Mission to Seafarers has rewarded its volunteers with a special Christmas breakfast.
The annual celebration, held at the mission's premises on Alf O'Rourke Dr, recognised the important role of volunteers, who give their time to care for the welfare of visiting seafarers.
Seventy people attended the breakfast including volunteers, members of the board and The Right Reverend David Robinson.
Mission chaplain Russell Cunningham said he was overwhelmed when community members from St Saviour's Church arrived very early and took care of the catering.
"It was very special to see volunteers serving other volunteers and we were especially grateful as we knew they had also catered for another event at the church the night before," Mr Cunningham said.
The Gladstone mission provides fellowship and practical support for seafarers, including transport, access to shops, the internet and communications with home.
The mission had a lot to celebrate this year with the arrival of its new chaplain; the establishment of its Work for the Dole program, the Oasis Project; and the formation of the Gladstone Port Welfare Committee, which has been established to develop a collaborative and holistic approach to providing assistance and support to seafarers visiting the Port of Gladstone.
The new year is already shaping up to be another busy one for the mission, with the number of visiting seafarers set to increase as the new LNG export industry ramps up.
"With an additional 400 LNG ships and a significant number of extra seafarers expected to visit the Port of Gladstone in 2016, our main objective is to find sponsors to help us to expand our fleet of buses, as even now we are struggling to provide adequate transport for visiting seafarers," said Mr Cunningham.
"We will also endeavour to increase our team of volunteers from 35 to 70, as we will need to implement extra volunteer shifts to be able to meet the increasing demand for our services."