Rockinghorse funded sea swimming course make a splash

We have recently funded a sea swimming course for teenagers with long term health conditions and the first group are already enjoying the experience.

For some people the idea of swimming in the seas around the British coastline is not a pleasant one, mostly due to the temperature! It’s not quite like the Mediterranean but sea swimming, even in colder waters, has many positive benefits.

If you live or work anywhere near the Sussex coast you can’t help but notice the increased number of sea swimmers who brave the plunge throughout the year. And whilst it can seem like a strange thing to be doing, speak to any of these regular swimmers and they will extol the virtues of the experience.

One such swimmer is Charlotte Savins, a children and young people’s psychotherapist at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, and it was Charlotte’s idea to ask us for funding to provide these courses for young people under the care of the hospital.

Charlotte said: “I love swimming in the sea and find there are so many benefits to both my physical and mental health, so I really wanted to encourage young people to experience these benefits as well.”

And thanks to your support we have been able to fund the first of these courses on Brighton seafront run by Sea Sure, a Brighton based community project that encourages people to safely enjoy the sea and its amazing health benefits.

So, on Tuesday evening a group of five young people with a range of health conditions such as Crohn’s disease and asthma, headed to the beach near Brighton’s Palace pier, donned their wetsuits and Rockinghorse branded hats and got ready for a swim.

Charlotte said: “Beforehand there was a real mix of feelings from the young people, from excitement to apprehension but soon enough there were smiles all round!”

“We had a lifeguard with us as well and the teenagers had great fun balancing on their rescue board. They all had fun learning about the sea, feel more confident in the water and more confident about their bodies.

“Young people with long term conditions are more susceptible to experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem, alongside feeling isolated. They are having to manage above and beyond what their peer group have to deal with, so sessions like this can really help them have some fun and feel separate from their illness.”

“After the session everyone was really keen to come back and do more and many of the parents told me that their teenagers couldn’t stop smiling, talked about it all evening and seemed much more confident.”

The course is continuing for several more weeks and the participants will learn more skills and techniques to feel safe and enjoy the water and hopefully help them.

And if you know any teenagers who are under the care of a paediatrician at the Alex and who would like to come along for a taster session, please feel free to contact Charlotte to arrange it. Just email her at charlotte.savins@nhs.net

 

To find out more about the other projects we are funding to help young people’s mental health and well-being, just click here.

Or, to donate to help fund projects like this click the button below.

Donate here

 

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