One of the secrets of our company’s longevity is our deep-seated belief in taking good care of our customers and all other stakeholders, including the communities in regions that we operate.

We are part of local life in our communities and take an active interest in supporting social initiatives.

ORCA outreach programme

Working in partnership with marine conversation charity ORCA, we run a series of outreach activities in the North East each year.

Our team hosted school visits to our ships and delivered in-class workshops to help young people learn about marine wildlife and understand the impact of their actions on the environment, including identifying how small behaviour changes can have a big impact on the world around us. More than 75 schools and 1,900 pupils were involved in these activities during 2016.

More than 171 regional volunteers also took part in shore watches and beach cleans along the North East coast.

Charitable initiatives

Our corporate social responsibility policy includes a commitment to support charities and charitable work in the UK.

In 2016 we provided in-kind support, in the form of discounted crossings and charity prizes, to more than 20 national charities, including:

  • The Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Saving Lives at Sea
  • The Royal British Legion
  • The British Heart Foundation
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Diabetes UK
  • BBC Children in Need

We also provided in-kind support to a host of regional charities in the Tyne & Wear, Kent and Sussex regions, providing charity prizes and reduced-rate crossings to a range of local charities, schools and voluntary organisations close to the ports from which we operate. We helped more than 100 charities in this way during 2016, including:

  • Pilgrim’s Hospice
  • Strode Park Foundation
  • Demelza House
  • Scouts
  • Sea Cadets
  • Emmaus
  • Changing Lives North East
  • North Shields Fishermen’s Heritage Project
  • Cash for Kids

Spreading Christmas cheer with Emmaus North East

A donation from DFDS to charity Emmaus North East helped homeless people living in the Tyneside area. Staff on board the company’s two Newcastle-Amsterdam ships arranged a donation of pillows and duvets for the charity. The items are now being used in Emmaus North East’s new South Shields residence, which provides accommodation for up to 15 previously homeless people. Changing Lives North East also benefitted from a similar donation to help the vulnerable and homeless individuals that rely on the organisation for support.

Customer donation scheme benefits children at Demelza

Customers travelling on DFDS’ Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkirk routes were encouraged to make donations to support Kent children’s charity Demelza. Those spending more than a specified amount in the on board shop received a free ‘Freddy the Teddy’ teddy bear and were encouraged to donate this to the charity. More than 50 teddies were collected as a result of this activity and sent on to the children in Demelza’s care.

Requesting support

We are committed to supporting community organisations and fundraisers in the following areas:

North Sea

South Shields, Gateshead, Whitley Bay, Chester-le-Street, Sunderland, Durham

Eastern Channel

Dover, Deal, Folkestone, Canterbury, Hythe, Ashford, Ramsgate, Margate

Western Channel

Newhaven, Bexhill, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing, Burgess Hill, Uckfield, Haywards Heath

If you would like to make a request for in-kind support please contact​.


We are Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2012-2019 & the World’s Leading Ferry Operator 2011-2018!​​