The SeaFit Programme was set up because it was identified that Fishermen find it difficult to make and keep pre-booked health appointments. They cant plan for time off because the weather, tides and fish locations often dictate when they need to be out at sea. If they are not at sea, they are not earning a living.
This coupled with fishermen traditionally being expected to be strong and resilient and men being less likely to seek out medical support, means health appointments are either not made or missed.
SeaFit is a joint initiative between the Fishermen’s Mission and the Seafarers Hospital Society. We are supported by Seafarers UK and work in partnership with other providers including the NHS and Public Health.
We use a range of health services throughout the UK, with Healthy Lifestyle Advisors situated at 3 different ports. They provide free health checks, advice on stopping smoking, alcohol reduction, weight management etc.
We also run mobile health events, taking services to the ports and quaysides. As well as the free health checks, there are dental checks and treatment; mental health and wellbeing support and a network of physiotherapists all working to meet the specific needs of fishermen and their families.
Every port event is different, we invite other local services to provide health information, for example Macmillan Cancer support, the British Red Cross, Seafood Cornwall Training, Western Maritime Training, Energy advice,
We also have full time Mental Health counsellors in Cornwall and in Suffolk and Norfolk. Providing free mental health support to fishermen. Its been slow to take off, but once the fishing communities get to know and trust the support given many more are coming forward.