The two-day SeaFit visit to Ramsgate last week was held in glorious sunny weather and very light winds that might have tempted many fishermen to spend as little time as possible onshore. However, the Fishermen’s Mission was able to report a great turnout of active and former fishermen from the local area, as well as their family members.
Mission area officer for South East England Ruth Charles said: “It’s been fantastic to bring SeaFit to the fishermen of Kent, and we are grateful to the harbour for hosting us and the RNLI for the use of their building.
“We have seen fishermen from Ramsgate, Margate and Folkstone come along for dental checks from DentAid, health MOTs from One You Kent, and information from Prostate Cancer UK. It’s also been a great opportunity to meet more Kent fishermen and let them know how the Fishermen’s Mission can support them.”
Merlin Jackson, secretary/treasurer of the Thanet Fishermen’s Association, said: “Giving fishermen dental checks and health MOTs right on the harbour has meant there is no excuse for them not to get checked. I’ve only been to the dentist a few times in my life and always put it off, but today I’ve been able to get a check-up and have a health check, which has been fantastic. We have seen a number of Thanet fishermen come along over the two-day SeaFit event here in Ramsgate.”
SeaFit programme manager Carol Elliott said: “We are delighted that other health providers are happy to come along and support the SeatFit programme, so that they can have access to fishermen they wouldn’t usually reach. Without their support, the programme wouldn’t be as successful as it has been.”
One You lifestyle supervisor Leah Colman said: “We have seen that the fishermen’s lifestyles are very similar, with unpredictable days and not having the routines to be able to care for themselves. It’s been great to have contact with the fishing community, who we wouldn’t have reached without the SeaFit event.
“We have been able to check blood pressure and BMIs, with roughly 50% having high blood pressure. Many of those we have seen have said they have been putting off having a check, and all have been receptive to the advice we have given them.”
The next SeaFit event is being held in Fraserburgh on Thursday, 31 March and Friday, 1 April. To find out more, visit: fishermensmission.org.uk/seafit-programme
This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.