Christmas cards and 2021 Calendar Gills

‘Merry Christmas Stained Glass’ card, designed by Graham Young

‘Merry Christmas Stained Glass’ card, designed by Graham Young - Credit: Archant

Let’s greet 2021 with hope and joy. Alongside the Fishermen’s Mission’s annual range of fishing-related Christmas cards, the calendar project has been six months in the planning.

Despite the delays and knock backs of the pandemic, the Fishermen’s Mission charity is striving forward as it has always done for almost 140 years.

Helen Lovell, Mission port officer and Devon area fundraiser from Brixham, said: “It has been a labour of love to speak with talented chefs and artists from around the UK who have made this possible. I’ve been encouraged by chefs who are willing to help while they were stood in an empty business. Artists giving of their time and talent for free during the economic uncertainty.

“This has been an original idea from volunteer Graham Young, who has put of all of this together.

“He’s spent hours poring over the images and designing into the small hours to make a truly inspiring calendar. Beautiful original artwork from respected artists and mouth-watering recipes from top UK chefs.

“This original calendar will brighten up your home and inspire you to cook delicious, seasonal seafood.”

Helen is delighted with the range of Christmas cards this year, particularly ‘Merry Christmas Stained Glass’ which is also designed by Graham Young.

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The stained-glass window is influenced by local Brixham sights including the Man and Boy statue and the famous red sails smacks which are part of Brixham fishing heritage.

The charity is reliant on donations, the monies are vital, especially now when we’ve been so hard hit by the pandemic, and we are preparing for if we are hit by storms this winter.

Helen continues to describe what lockdown is like in her area of Brixham: “Being at the heart of UK fishing communities is a real strength of the Fishermen’s Mission. Our work is based on building trusted relationships through face-to-face meetings on the quayside, on fishing vessels and through home visits.”

She speaks of how things have suddenly changed but also stayed the same: “It’s really tough that lockdown and social distancing means we can’t be there in person when dealing with fishermen, but we are not, and never will be socially distant!

“Today I called a fisherman on the first anniversary of his brother’s suicide. it was so important to chat with him and I am hopeful the call eased his pain on such a difficult day.

“Coronavirus has temporarily changed our method of working but not our method of caring; always there, always ready to listen, always ready to do the best for our fishing communities.”

The Fishermen’s Mission is always pleased to say that for every £1 donated, 88p is spent on providing the services to fishermen, active, retired, as well as their families.

The Christmas cards are selling for £5 per pack of ten cards of the same image and the calendar is selling for £7.50. The proceeds will support many fishing families in need.

To buy Christmas cards and a calendar locally, contact Helen Lovell or follow @southwestenglandfishmish on Facebook for the most up-to-date locations to buy items.

The Mission is always looking for new locations so if you are interested in selling them on a sale-or-return basis, email helenlovell@fishermensmission.org.uk or call 07917 754 293.