The Mission to Seafarers at South Tees opens each evening to serve seafarers who are far from home and only have a limited time ashore.

The Mission offers a minibus shuttle service to the club and to Middlesbrough and ensures seafarers have phone cards, and free wi fi so they can talk to their families at home, takes them shopping, and ensures they can relax with TV, pool and a beer, and buy chocolate and essentials to make life a little better.

"When they leave, we hope they are rested and refreshed, to conduct safely their difficult jobs at sea," says Alèxe Finlay, the Mission's voluntary secretary.

Ship visitors and a Chaplain also go on board to help with pastoral and spiritual issues.

This service is provided completely by volunteers – the Mission has no paid employees and is self financing through the generosity of the river Tees’ community. This is unique within the UK.

The Mission is now looking to recruit drivers and bar staff to continue this ministry. Full training is given, expenses paid, and protection and safety are taken very seriously.

The Mission is open daily from 1900 to 2230hrs and is situated on the outskirts of Tees Dock in Middlesbrough.

Alèxe adds, "It is wonderful to meet so many different people from other countries, faiths and cultures, and a most varied ministry".