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Mental Health Swims x TrueStart

Mental Health Swims x TrueStart

We are buzzing to announce our partnership with Mental Health Swims!
We've admired the work this incredible community does and to be able to be a part of it is an honour. A huge thank you to Rachel and her team for having us involved; we can't wait to see the impact our support has and, of course, seeing the dippers enjoying their TrueStart by the water.

Who are Mental Health Swims and what do they do?

It can be really intimidating joining a new group, especially when you are experiencing mental health issues. This was certainly true for founder of Mental Health Swims, Rachel Ashe.
In 2019 after a period of mental ill health Rachel was looking for ways to connect with others. When she couldn't find what she was looking for she started an outdoor dipping group in Swansea where she lives.
This one small group turned into the nationwide social enterprise that Mental Health Swims is today. 

How do they create safe & welcoming spaces for people living with mental illness? 

Mental Health Swims was created with this in mind. We try to make joining our swim groups a gentle experience. We do this by having wonderful volunteers facilitate the sessions so that you will always receive a friendly welcome. 
Our volunteers have all completed our volunteer training which includes cold water safety, mental health awareness, risk assessment and how to create safe and welcoming spaces for people experiencing mental health issues.
Lived experience is really important to us. Everyone, including board members, the core team, volunteers and participants have lived experience of mental health issues, either personally or through supporting someone close to us. This means that everyone in our organisation really understands what it is to struggle. 
Since we started in 2019 to now, we have trained over 400 volunteers and have a network of groups all across the UK and beyond. 

What are you planning for 2024?

This is an exciting year for us because we have a new project called "Swim Together" which takes our peer support model indoors. We hope this will make mental health peer support swimming groups more accessible to a wider range of people. 
We are thrilled to be working with TrueStart coffee whose beliefs align with ours. It means a lot to have their support on our mission to share our love of swimming with more people. 
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