Respected maritime charities, the Fishermen’s Mission and Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS), have today announced a new joint initiative, the SeaFit Programme, that will deliver health and wellbeing services around the UK coastline for commercial fishermen and their families. The programme will be officially launched at a major health and wellbeing event for the fishing community from Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th October, in the Sea Cadets building, Peterhead.
The aim of the event is to bring a range of health and wellbeing services direct to the community to address their immediate needs and explore different ways of delivering health and wellbeing support that will be sustainable in the long-term. All the services on offer will be free and include:
- Dental checks and initial treatment from Dentaid
- Health checks by Buchanhaven Pharmacy, including blood pressure and diabetes
- Information on ILO188 available from the Fishermen’s Mission and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
- Mental health and wellbeing advice and support from the Scottish Association of Mental Health
- Information and advice on drug and alcohol problems from Turning Point and NHS Aberdeenshire.
The event will appeal to the entire community, with opportunities to learn about getting fit for sea and a chance for fishermen to identify any potential important issues that may affect the achievement of their Medical Certificate required under ILO188.
With funding from Seafarers UK, this exciting event will provide fishermen with free, confidential health advice, information, support and guidance to improve both their short and long-term health and wellbeing. SHS and the Fishermen’s Mission will work together with other expert partners to offer a range of services on or near the Peterhead harbour.
David Dickens, Chief Executive of the Fishermen’s Mission, said: “We know from our work in the community that the health and wellbeing needs of fishermen and their families are often just not being met. This event is the first of many initiatives that we will be launching around the UK over the next few months as part of the SeaFit Programme. All the services on offer are free and no appointment is needed, so if you live or work in the Peterhead area and you’re interested in finding out more about getting SeaFit, come down to the Sea Cadets building and see what we can offer.”
This is not the first time that the two charities have worked together. The SeaFit Programme builds on the success of a number of joint pilot events aimed at promoting general health and lifestyle changes and shaping the model for future provision.
Commenting on this new partnership with the Fishermen’s Mission, Peter Coulson, Secretary of SHS said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Fishermen’s Mission to deliver this exciting new health and wellbeing programme. And we’re extremely grateful to Seafarers UK for their generous financial support.”
He continued: “Fishing remains the most dangerous occupation in the world and yet there are no occupational health services for fishermen. We hope that by bringing a range of health and wellbeing services to fishermen and their families at the harbourside we will begin to make a real and sustainable difference to their health and wellbeing.”