» Seafarers Physiotherapy Network : THE SEAFIT PROGRAMME

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Seafarers Physiotherapy Network


Seafit Programme

SeaFit Programme3

The SeaFit Programme is a joint initiative from the Seafarers Hospital Society and the Fishermen’s Mission, working in partnership to deliver sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of fishermen and their families around the UK. With initial funding from Seafarers UK, the SeaFit Programme will run over two years, starting in July 2018.

The Programme covers numerous 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

Health checks

The first SeaFit health check event 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 the harbourside. Over the course of three days we saw many local fishermen and their families, undertaking 59 health checks and 21 dental checks. This was the first of four events planned for the first year, the next one will be in Northern Ireland in March 2019.

Health trainers

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, Bridlington and Newlyn, where we are currently recruiting and training.

The first Health trainer project was launched in Holderness, East Yorkshire on 24th October. Targeting the fishing communities of Bridlington and the surrounding area, the trainers will be working with fishermen and their families to improve their overall health and wellbeing and connect them to local health and wellbeing services. The service will be delivered by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Living Seas Programme and Humber NHS Teaching Foundation Trust. This follows a successful two-year pilot which was part-funded by the Society.

arrow Click here to find out more about the launch of the Holderness project

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 checks events.

We are also working with a local dental practice in Troon to offer a monthly walk-in clinic for fishermen and their families.

arrow Click here to find out more 

Mental health and wellbeing support

We are exploring a variety of ways of 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 will be in Newlyn, provided by Ceri Summers of Fairwinds, through the Harbourside Physiotherapy Clinic.

To find out more or to book an appointment to see Ceri call 01736 366 224 or email fairwinds781@outlook.com

Network of physiotherapists

Harbourside Physiotherapy Clinic has been providing free physiotherapy to fishermen with funding from the Society for many years. The knowledge and expertise they have built up about the impact of fishing on physical health is unprecedented. We are working with Harbourside to create a network of physiotherapists in Cornwall and parts of Devon who have practices close to the harbour. They will be trained and supported to provide a holistic and preventative approach to physiotherapy services for local fishermen.

Eight physiotherapy clinics have signed up to the scheme:

Please contact Harbourside Physiotherapy 01736 366224 or network@harboursidephysiotherapy.co.uk

To find out more about any aspect of the SeaFit Programme call Lysanne Wilson, Health Development Manager on 020 8858 3696 or email: lysannewilson@seahospital.org.uk

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