Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) has launched a new Blue Health programme to support members of the Falmouth and Penryn communities to connect to the sea, improve their health and well-being and discover the breadth of economic, volunteering and recreational opportunities available in the local marine sector.
Blue Health refers to the therapeutic benefits of spending time in or by blue spaces including the sea, rivers, waterfront parks, harbours and marinas. Significantly, existing research highlights a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, including greater connectedness with nature, with greater benefits when time spent in the outdoors is combined with social interactions.
CMN’s Blue Health workshops build on these findings to offer a new year-round programme of activities by the sea from coastal dog walks and seaweed foraging to wild swimming, meditation on the beach and kayaking. There are also exciting plans to bring the ‘seaside to the town’ and set up activities in local community centres, allowing families to access mobile rock pools and take part in marine-themed arts and crafts and beach games, where they might otherwise find it difficult to access the beach.
Starting in the New Year, activities follow up from a successful pilot earlier this month which saw local participants join creative workshops. Delivered at Gyllyngvase Beach, these workshops gathered local inhabitants who had a go at watercolour painting using seawater and creating sea glass sculptures. Guest speakers from local charities and businesses also joined to provide advice and information about local initiatives to help preserve our marine environment and wildlife, including Plastic Free Falmouth, Falmouth Marine Conservation Group and the RNLI.
Lisa, a participant, fed back: “It’s great to be around such good energy and the best views. The sessions remind me to enjoy the moment and get stuck in, letting go a little”.
All of the workshops are free to residents of Falmouth and Penryn who are not currently in employment. If you are feeling a little low or isolated after such challenging times, you can join us by simply contacting Lea Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01326 314904.
These activities are delivered as part of the Communities Working Together project which is part-funded by the European Social Fund.