It was all hands on deck for staff and service users from South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s early intervention in psychosis (EIP) team as they set sail around the British Isles on a voyage of recovery.
The voyage was organised by the Cirdan Trust, a sailing charity whose aim is to provide disadvantaged young people with the opportunity for self-development through sailing. A total of 10 crews from EIP teams from all over the UK completed the journey in a relay.
Despite facing bad weather, sleepless nights and sea sickness, the team successfully steered sailing ship ‘Faramir’ along the east coast for the London to Ipswich (via Dover) leg of the voyage.
The trip was partly funded by the Trust’s charity, EyUp!.
Stephen McGowan, regional and clinical lead for early intervention in psychosis, said: “We were very interested in the idea that ‘adventure therapy’ can help people in their recovery from serious mental illness. The voyage provided a radically different environment for our crew to develop confidence, new skills, engage in physical activity and explore a fresh perspective on life.
“We had an amazing time! The sailing was great fun, and it was really good getting to know everyone and learning how to work as a team. The highlight was seeing our crew getting stuck into every task from sailing the boat through rough seas to cleaning the toilets – you should never underestimate what young people recovering from psychosis are capable of!
“Feedback during and after the voyage has been incredibly positive. We hope to recruit another crew to sail again in 2023.”
Feedback from the crew…
‘The adventure of a lifetime!’
‘It was very exciting’
‘Beyond my expectations’
‘The crew were amazing!’
‘It made me believe in myself more’
‘It reminded me of the good in other people’
‘I would go again tomorrow’
‘A massive achievement for all’
‘I am in love with sailing – even though I got sick many times!’
‘A wonderful experience which I will never forget’