Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme
The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund are supporting a programme of sessions which encourage people who may not otherwise have participated in seasports to get afloat. During 2022 the sessions were run as a partnership between Kintyre Seasports, Kintyre Canoe Club, and Kintyre Stand Up Paddleboard Club.
During 2022 the programme ran 2 sessions in the swimming pool focussed on water confidence and kayaking, and a block of 3 sessions each of kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. Further blocks of sailing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding planned for the late season have had to be postponed until the spring due to strong winds resulting in conditions that would not result in a positive experience for new and possibly nervous participants.
Individuals have attended one or more blocks
Participants attended a block of sessions (some individuals attended multiple blocks of different activities)
of participants are women
Of participants who chose to answer in feedback identified as belonging to an ‘at risk’ group, who have been adversely affected by exacerbated mental health inequalities due to the pandemic
The sessions are open to all and aim to get anyone who wants to afloat. They are designed to encourage members of groups where evidence shows that the pandemic has exacerbated mental health inequalities. 79% of participants were women, and 75% of participants that chose to answer in feedback identified as a member of one or more of the other identified groups.
Feedback from participants was positive – after the pool sessions 100% of respondents said that their mood was better and they felt more confident after the session and they were more likely to try out seasports outdoors than they were before the session. 75% said that they would not have tried out kayaking without the sessions.
The parents of one participant with additional support needs described the sessions:
“He enjoyed the sessions and felt safe with a volunteer or myself as support. His favourite was kayaking but he was proud of himself for standing up on the paddle board.
These were all very valuable sessions for him, giving him both new experiences and more confidence in himself. We were so proud to see him doing his very best in situations outside of his comfort zone. I was very grateful also to be able to support him directly in the double kayak and gain new skills myself.”