Here at Seabirds HQ we need help from the Seabirds community and supporters. We are not looking for donations but rather your votes.
We have applied for funds from the Aviva Community Fund for our Women in Waves Project.
What do we want?
To introduce open water swimming to local women to improve their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. There are lots of courses locally run to help people transition from the pool to the sea but many people are intimidated by these courses. Many women struggle to get into a swim suit, let alone a pool or the wide open sea. Yet it is exactly these women that would benefit so much from introducing open water swimming into their lives.
What will the money be spent on?
The money would be spent on equipment like swim hats and dry robes – to keep participants warm and safe, changing and pool facility hire – to provide a safe environment for participants to get used to open water swimming, administration costs and dedicated coaches and instructors to facilitate the courses to ensure the participants get the best out of the courses.
Who will benefit?
We have canvassed feedback from local women, who have experienced hormonal and menopausal related wellbeing issues, aged 40-60. We asked them;
- If they visit the beach and swim in the sea?
- What factors can contribute to low confidence and motivation, preventing them from swimming in the pool or the sea?
We then asked them to help us develop ideas for activities that would “make them feel happier and more confident” as part of a pilot session. In this way we have gained a real insight into the issues faced by women of a certain age.
We understand that there are points in women’s lives where they need support to build resilience and to make improvements to their wellbeing. We believe that outdoor swimming can improve outcomes for women experiencing mental health challenges from firsthand experience. Modern day living is a challenge, particularly in times of austerity. Services are being cut and many vulnerable women are falling through the net.
Why we want your votes
Female-centric courses with participants falling into a similar age bracket in a safe and structured environment may be the only way some women would even consider swimming the sea. We are passionate about encouraging more women into the waves to improve their wellbeing and voting for this project would make this happen
How do I vote?
How you vote in 3 easy steps;
- Click on this link Women in Waves and register with Aviva (you must be 13+ to vote)
- Enter your email address, create a password and enter your name to register. You will be sent an activation email to this account. Click on that link
- Once signed in to your Aviva account you can opt out of their mailing list and search for ‘Seabirds’ which will take you to our project and allow you to vote.
The Small Print
- To stand a chance of receiving the funds we are aiming for 2000 votes. We are currently at 834
- Voting is open until 20th November.
- You can vote using all email alias’s available to you
- You can share this project with your family and friends and ask them for their votes too.
Various social factors put women at greater risk of poor mental health than men. However, women’s readiness to talk about their feelings and their strong social networks can help protect their mental health. Seabirds already have an established network of sea swimmers that gain confidence and happiness from being part of a community group. The course would act as a foundation for women to join the already established swimming community group providing them with respite from daily worries, a support network and a regular activity and meet up.
Here are some quotes to encourage you to vote!
These are the comments from the women that participated in our focus group pilot session.
” For the time we were in the sea I really didn’t think about anything else but the waves.”
” It was wonderful to connect with new people”
” The sentiment ‘you go in strangers, come out friends” really rings true”
” Lovely idea, good solidarity, much needed”
” Really supportive group – loved it”
” Invigorating, confidence building”
As ever – Thank you for your support and hopefully your vote.