A DORSET MP has spoken in support of a maritime charity on its 200th anniversary.

At a recent meeting in Westminster South Dorset MP Richard Drax said the Hampshire-based Sailors' Society "does important work supporting seafarers around the world".

"I first came across Sailors’ Society when working as a journalist for the BBC and saw first-hand the tough conditions seafarers work under," said Mr Drax.

"I wish them a very happy birthday."

Sailors’ Society’s advocacy manager Jon Foster said: “MPs have a long history of supporting the charity’s work, and we are grateful to Richard for continuing this tradition in our bicentenary year.”

The organisation was founded on March 18, 1818, to minister to the needs of destitute seafarers returning home from the Napoleonic Wars, and now works in 29 countries around the world.

It aims to transform the lives of seafarers and their families at home, in port and at sea through the delivery of chaplaincy, education and the relief of poverty and distress.