'An amazing journey': Fishermen's Mission Tim stands down after 15 years

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A charity leader who has supported countless East Anglian fishermen for more than a decade steps back from his role today.

In his position as mission area officer for the Fishermen's Mission, senior superintendent Tim Jenkins has provided essential support across the whole of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coast.

But now, after 15-and-a-half years, he has announced he is leaving the charity, based at Waveney Docks in Lowestoft, to become a full-time foster father.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years. - Credit: Danielle Booden

He said: "After so many years I felt it was time to move on.

"It has been an amazing time and such a journey.

"I was working in the charity sector when I joined the Fishermen's Mission and I didn't know anything about fishing boats, but everyone has been a great help over the years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"There have been countless people we have helped and supported over the years and it has been an absolute pleasure and joy to be able to do this with such a great community.

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"Being able to chat with fishermen and share their stories has been a big privilege.

"I've held a lot of funerals but also been able to share some touching celebrations and lovely times.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"A number of people have also asked if I would do their funerals when the time comes, which I've agreed to because it is a privilege to be asked."

For Mr Jenkins, one of the stand-out moments of his time in the role came from a tragedy shortly after he began.

"Not long after I started we lost one of our fishermen in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex and it was inspiring how the fishing community rallied around his family to complement the support we were offering," he said.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It just showed how strong the fishing community is and that hasn't changed over the years.

"I was also able to raise £14,000 and a lot of awareness for the Fishermen's Mission when I did the Rusty Rex banger rally around Europe."

One of his biggest achievements, however, has been his role in saving countless lives at sea.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years.

Tim Jenkins who is retiring from The Fishermen's Mission in Lowestoft after 15 years. - Credit: Danielle Booden

He said: "About 10 or 12 years ago we did a pilot project of giving out personal flotation devices, or lifejackets as some people call them, to try and encourage fishermen to wear them.

"Because of that, the law was changed to make it mandatory that everyone on deck wears one.

"Being the forerunner and helping shape the law to save lives is a pretty great achievement.

The Fishermen's Mission on Battery Green Road in Lowestoft.

The Fishermen's Mission on Battery Green Road in Lowestoft. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It has been interesting to think how things have changed over the years, but it is a sign of a good organisation that we have been able to adapt because the need is still there, just how we meet it has changed.

"We cover 41 ports across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex so we need a good system."