The SeaFit Programme is a joint initiative from the Fishermen’s Mission and Seafarers Hospital Society, working in partnership to deliver sustainable improvement in the health and wellbeing of fishermen and their families around the UK. Funded by Seafarers UK, the Seafit programme started in July 2018 and will run until the end of 2020.
The programme covers numbrous aspects of mental and physical health and wellbeing and provides a range of services direct to the community completely free of charge. This includes:
- Health checks at the harbourside
- Health trainers in the community
- Dental checks with some initial treatment
- Access to mental health and wellbeing support to complement Big White Wall
- Development of a network of physiotherapists trained to meet the specific needs of fishermen, initially in Cornwall and Devon
The first Seafit health check took place in Peterhead from 2nd -4th October 2018 and was an outstanding success. The event brought together a wide range of health and wellbeing experts to provide advice, support, and treatment at or near a harbourside. Over the course of three days, we saw many local fishermen and their families undertaking 59 health checks and 21 dental checks.
The second was in three locations in Northern Ireland: Ardglass for two days in March 2019, followed by one day in Portavogie and two days in Kilkeel in April 2019. Altogether we reached over 150 fishermen in three ports, with blood pressure and diabetes checks, carbon monoxide and skin cancer tests, physiotherapy, oral health checks, and eye tests as well as information, support and guidance on many aspects of physical and mental health and wellbeing.
We are currently planning out next SeaFit health checks
Cornwall and Devon with Smile Together
We’ll be offering a range of health checks alongside the free dental checks and initial treatment provided by Smile Together on a three-week tour of Cornwall and Devon, starting on Monday 9th September. Watch this space for regular updates.
Our aim is to build a team of health trainers to work with fishermen and their families in various locations around the UK. Work has started in two key communities, East Riding and Newlyn, where we are currently recruiting and training our teams, and developing relationships with the community.
Free dental checks and initial treatment
We are working with community dental providers Dentaid and Smile Together to deliver free dental checks and some initial treatment to fishermen and their families. A number of successful events have taken place around the country and more are planned for the coming year. Wherever possible, dental checks will also be included in the health check events.
We are also working with a local dental practice in Troon to offer a monthly walk-in clinic for fishermen and their families.
Mental health and wellbeing support
We are exploring a variety of ways providing mental health and wellbeing support to fishermen and their families to complement the online service already available free to working fishermen and merchant seafarers through Big White Wall. The first service to get off the ground is in Newlyn, provided by Ceri Summers of Fairwinds, through the Harbourside Physiotherapy Clinic
We are planning Seafit events in Suffolk, Newlyn, Brixham and Plymouth to name a few. For up to date information please follow the SeaFit twitter account on @GetSeaFit as well as our social media feeds @thefishmish facebook.com/fishermensmission