Story of the Seabirds…..
From 2017 the three founding members of Seabirds, Cath, Kath and Ruth experienced significant changes in their lives which resulted in the three of us meeting up regularly in the sea for a swim. Whilst chatting, bobbing, changing, faffing and drinking tea, Seabirds Brighton Ltd was formed. We had all noticed the huge benefits being in, on or near the sea has had on our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Creating a way for others to experience the benefits was a natural next step.
We didn’t want to start a charity knowing the vagaries of funding and grants etc. We wanted to run our project sustainably and self sufficiently – so we started a Community Interest Company with the profits going to fund Seabirds’ ‘Water and Wellbeing’ community work getting more people into the water to feel the benefits we experienced daily. To 'share the swim love'.
Seabirds’ Wild Swim Shop
We sell swim stuff in our online Wild Swim Shop and we run courses, talks and sessions. All profits go towards our Salted Wellbeing work. We source swimmy items that make sea swimming more comfortable – robes, goggles, hats, tow floats etc. We take the quality and ethics of the products we source very seriously. We spend a lot of time choosing and testing before we decide to sell them (a fun bit!)….
‘Women Wellbeing and Water’
Sea swimming is free and available to all, in theory…but there are many obstacles that people face getting in the water or even considering it an option. There are many residents of Brighton who never even visit the beach. We know how much the cold, the community and being immersed in nature help us and we want others to realise this too. So our main aim is to get those who would not normally easily access sea swimming as a tool to maintain wellbeing and yet are in great need of it. We got lottery funding to run our ‘Women, Water and Wellbeing’ course in 2018 with local mental health charity Threshold to refer participants to us. It was a great success and we plan more for next ‘warm season’.
Our swim community (currently at over 1200 members!) was born when we held our pilot session for our Women, Wellbeing and Water course and many of the participants wanted to keep swimming then and there. It is an unexpected joy to be part of a thriving flock of fellow sea swimmers. Swimming, silliness, support, handstands, hugs, friendship and general playful messing about and cake. Its all bloody brilliant. An inclusive community where all are welcome. Turns out we all need more of this in our lives!
We would like to say a special thank you to Seabird Ruth, Co-Founder of Seabirds whose design magic brought the website to life, created the iconic Seabirds Logo and all the early artwork, photography and logo work is credited to her. Whilst no longer a Director at Seabirds, she is still a daily dipper and advocate of Salted Wellbeing and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
So that is our Seabird story (so far anyway!). You support our work everytime you buy your swim stuff from us and share our social media posts. Thank you! We genuinely do little happy dances every time we make a sale. Do come for a swim and share the swim love with us if you haven’t already, it has changed our lives and we are very glad.
Seabirds Cath and Kath,
Directors of Seabirds Ltd, Community Interest Company