A CHARITY which supports sailors from across the world has thanked ExxonMobil Fawley for helping to make vital repairs to its centre located at the site.

Stella Maris was established in 1920 and has been supporting seafarers ever since, visiting them on board ships and providing rest centres across the globe.

At Fawley refinery, where the charity centre is based, it is open round the clock, seven days a week. However, the facilities had been damaged by rain and needed refurbishing.

Nick O’Neil, senior port chaplain for Southampton, said: “The centre provides a place to relax, watch television, have a drink and a snack, and to contact friends and family.

“Many ships ration drinking water, and what is provided can be of poor quality, so seafarers can be thirsty and welcome a drink.

“Also while at sea communication with friends and family via the internet can be severely limited and telephone signals can be patchy.

“Our centre at Fawley is used by about 1,000 seafarers every year and provides an important service all year round. Unfortunately, a roof leak had caused some damage to the Fawley centre which need repairing.”

After hearing about the required refurbishments, ExxonMobil made a contribution of £3,000.

Nick said: “The money enabled us to fix the roof and carry out some repairs inside the centre, including installing a new kitchenette, lighting, flooring, seating and redecoration.

“We also put in new power sockets with USB points so that seafarers can charge their phones.

“We are very grateful to ExxonMobil Fawley – the seafarers who use these the centre are already enjoying the new facilities”.

Angharad Vaughan, ExxonMobil Fawley community affairs adviser, said: “Our marine terminal is the starting point for our operations and welcomes seafarers from around the globe every day. We are delighted to help Stella Maris.”