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Help for Caithness fishermen struggling with debt

By David G Scott

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The branch superintendent of a national charity talked of the support available for far north fishermen who are financially struggling and a £300k fund in operation.

Jackie Dodds, based at Scrabster, works for the Fishermen's Mission and said that Covid, Brexit and the winter weather have all taken their toll and that the charity is "well aware of how difficult life can be for our fishermen just now".

Superintendent Jackie Dodds from the Fisherman's Mission branch based at Scrabster.
Superintendent Jackie Dodds from the Fisherman's Mission branch based at Scrabster.

"Without doubt there will be fishermen in our local community who are unsure where to access help and information," she added.

Following an announcement by Fergus Ewing SNP and Marine Scotland, the Fishermen’s Mission is pleased to confirm it has been offered access to a fund of up to £300k to help in their welfare work with fishermen across Scotland.

This fund will help support the services offered by the Mission, working with fishermen who are dealing with mounting debts around rent, mortgage and utility bills.

David Dickens, CEO of the charity said: "I would like to personally thank Marine Scotland for their support. This fund will be of real help to us. Last year alone, it cost us over £600k to provide our services in Scotland, where we have a very strong presence.

"During this exceptionally difficult year, we already accessed grants totalling £322,000 in Scotland. We have needed to look to our reserves to help us to continue providing our services. I would take this opportunity to say that if you are an active Scottish fisherman and you are struggling to provide for yourself or your family then please get in touch and see if we can support you."

Jackie added: "Talking things over with someone will, almost certainly help, and I would suggest fishermen consider ringing either myself on 07774116386 or our Head Office on Freephone 08006341020. Our service is confidential and no problem is too small. We will be happy to hear from you."

The Fishermen’s Mission is the only national charity that works solely to provide financial, practical and pastoral support to fishermen and their families around the whole of the UK coastline. They also provide a 24/7 emergency response for accidents and emergencies at sea. To find your nearest member of port staff visit www.fishermensmission.org.uk

More dramatic photos of Wick harbour during windy weekend

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