The Seafarers’ Charity is celebrating the announcement that Robert Greenwood, trustee of the charity, has been awarded the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service.
Robert was nominated for the Merchant Navy Medal for his considerable dedication over many years to improving safety and welfare in the fishing industry; one of the most dangerous professions in the world.
Robert Greenwood has been a trustee for The Seafarers’ Charity for five years. During that time the charity has benefited from his extensive knowledge and understanding of the commercial fishing sector. As a member, and now Chair, of the charity’s grant making Impact Committee, Robert’s advice has supported the charity to develop and fund a number of effective safety initiatives in fishing. He has also strongly supported the charity’s pro-active approach to developing grant-funded solutions.
Robert has always worked collaboratively with a solid understanding of how fishing works, both technically and economically, meaning he has developed and delivered practical solutions to improve conditions in fishing which are both needed and wanted by the industry – most importantly they are widely adopted. One significant example is his development of the free to use online safety management system known as the SafetyFolder. Now used by almost 3,000 fishing vessels to manage their safety; its use is recommended by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
Robert has always shared initiatives with the wider fishing industry with the intention of helping others to raise standards both in the UK and internationally. Ten years ago, Robert helped to set up The Fishing Industry’s Safety & Health Platform, (FISH Platform), which is a network of international fishing safety experts who collaborate on safety and welfare initiatives which benefit commercial fishing. In 2022, FISH Platform will be adapting and stepping up to support the professionalisation of fishing and representation of fishing safety at international forums.
Robert Greenwood said: ‘It’s a great honour to receive the Merchant Navy Medal, especially as fishing safety has been a lifelong obsession for me. It is my natural curiosity to understand why accidents happen and how to identify the most effective and long-term solutions to the problem, often by using unconventional solutions. The answer to making fishing safer is in the hands of the fishing industry itself, and in the coming years, more must be done to encourage the future leaders in health, safety and welfare.’
Paul Butterworth AFNI, Chairman of the General Council at The Seafarers’ Charity said: ‘I am immensely proud that our trustee Robert Greenwood has been awarded the Merchant Navy Medal and it is well-deserved. The Seafarers’ Charity has hugely benefited from Robert’s contribution, not only as a hard-working trustee but in developing initiatives to save lives in the fishing industry and make it a safer place to work for everyone.’