Russ Fairman

Stella Maris

Russ Fairman is a longstanding supporter of, and volunteer ship visitor for, international maritime charity Stella Maris. Inspired by the charity's work and its centenary, he started planning a sailing pilgrimage around the UK to raise funds and awareness for its work with seafarers and fishers. This was a complex project, coordinating multiple crew changes, stop-overs at 65 ports and Holy sites around the UK, and 22 local fundraising events en route. After three years of planning, Russ set off in April 2023. He sailed 2,433 miles around the UK in 70 days. During the pilgrimage, Russ welcomed and trained 60 crew members, many of whom were novice sailors. He held live radio interviews under sail, posted daily to social media, spoke to hundreds of people about the charity’s work, raised nearly £20,000 directly and supported a national campaign that raised £400,000. This raised substantial funds for Stella Maris, increased its email database by 8%, deepened its engagement with 22 coastal parish communities around the UK, and generated 59 items of media coverage and 70,000 social media views for the charity.