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Local NHS Healthtrainers launch dedicated service to help East Coast fishermen

Local NHS Healthtrainers launch dedicated service to help East Coast fishermen
19 October 2018

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust are launching a dedicated Healthtrainer service that aims to improve the health and quality of life of the region’s fishermen.

The service, developed as part of the SeaFit Programme, aims to work with fishermen to improve their overall health and wellbeing and connect them with local relevant services.

Following a two-year pilot, part-funded by the Seafarers Hospital Society, the outreach programme is now set to be rolled out full-time to the Holderness fishing community, including those directly at sea and their families.

Identified as an ‘at risk’ group, fishermen have been long thought to carry health risks due to their physically hard work environment and long hours, with reduced ability to exercise and limited access to ‘standard’ NHS services.

Michele Moran, Chief Executive of Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are really excited for our Healthtrainers to take this project to the next level having completed such a successful pilot.

“The team learnt a lot about what areas of health improvement are most important to fishermen and with this information, we hope to deliver an innovative service to this industry which will make such a huge difference to them and their families.”

Funding for the project has been provided by Holderness FLAG, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and the SeaFit Programme.

SeaFit is a joint initiative from the Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) and the Fishermen’s Mission, working in partnership with local providers to deliver sustainable improvements to the health and wellbeing of fishermen and their families around the UK.

Rob Stoneman Chief Executive of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said, “We are delighted to be able to launch such a unique project, working alongside experts in the health field.

“Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas programme is working towards achieving a healthy, productive local marine environment, supported by a healthy thriving fishery and fishing community.

“Behind that vision are people: those who work on the sea and appreciate it for what it has to offer in terms of marine wildlife and how it supports their daily lives. By working closely with these communities we aim to make health a priority, both for our marine wildlife and those using the sea.”

Commenting on the launch, Peter Coulson, Secretary of the Seafarers Hospital Society said: “We’re delighted to be working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Humber NHS Teaching Foundation to deliver this exciting project and build on the lessons learnt from our previous pilot.

“Fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the world and yet there are no occupational health services for fishermen.

“This is one of three pilots providing health trainers to fishing communities around the UK. We hope that by equipping fishermen and their families with the skills and knowledge they need to take charge of their own health and wellbeing we will see long-term improvements in the health of the fishing community.”

The service is being officially launched at a presentation event in Flamborough, at the Living Seas Centre on Wednesday 24 October, where locals and media are invited to learn more about the innovative project.


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