The Fishermen's Mission fights poverty and despair in UK fishing communities by providing emergency and welfare support to fishermen and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Over 13,000 men and women work in the UK's toughest and most dangerous peacetime occupation: deep sea fishing. At sea, they face death and injury on a daily basis. On land, many face insecurity and debt. And life for the 50,000 retired fishermen and their dependants is no better, with debt, inadequate pensions and scant savings meaning no respite from hardship once the fishing's over.

Real Stories: Brian Taylor

Brian is 27 and lives alone in Troon, SW Scotland after spending a number of years in the United States where he still has family.

He’s been a commercial fisherman for around 3 years, working for local Prawn boats in Troon. Prior to this, he has also worked at the fish processing plant based at Troon Harbour.

Although the pay can be sporadically better working as a prawn fishermen compared to the fish factory, Brian has to work long, unsociable hours, often in rough and dangerous weather – his working week starts at 10pm on a Sunday night and doesn’t finish until 7pm on a Friday night. In the winter, or when the weather’s particularly bad, the boat won’t go out at all and he will earn nothing.

Brian doesn’t own his own boat, and like many self-employed people, sometimes struggles with this erratic income. However, as the Fishermen’s Mission Troon Outreach service is based at Troon Harbour, Brian didn’t have to go far to get help when he started to struggle financially.

Karen (pictured) of our Troon Outreach Programme, expertly supported Brian via face to face meetings and telephone calls, helping him address his rent and bill arrears by facilitating a grant which prevented him from having to face the devastating crisis of homelessness. She also provided him with food vouchers so he could access the local food bank and provided emotional and pastoral support as Brian did his best to cope with the stress of his situation.

Today Brian is starting to get back on track financially and feeling a lot less vulnerable. He told us:

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the Fishermen’s Mission picked me up at the lowest point of my life. They were a lifeline to me when I had nowhere else to turn. Karen always helped me whenever I asked for her help and I will always be grateful for the support and care she showed me.”

Karen and Brian