PENRYN-based mental health charity Sea Sanctuary is celebrating after being awarded £65,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work.

The charity will use the funds for community-based programmes to tackle loneliness and offer hope, help and support to some of Cornwall’s most vulnerable residents.

The charity was founded by Joseph Sabien in 2006 after he identified that conventional treatment and the dominant model of mental health care did not adequately address the complex challenges of mental illness for many.

Sea Sanctuary believes the ‘environment is the key to recovery’ and delivers most of its activities around the natural marine environment while helping people towards healthier life choices.

The charity has years of success in combining evidence-based therapies with marine-based activities to provide an invigorating sense of adventure along with the help and support people require to build and sustain emotional resilience and an improved level of wellbeing.

CEO Joe said: "We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.

"Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to support many people who are struggling at this time.

"This is important because the mental health impact of the pandemic is likely to last much longer than the physical health impact."

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The team at Sea Sanctuary provide therapeutic workshops, individual therapy sessions, and community support groups, including a residential sailing programme, ‘Sail into Life’, as featured on BBC local and national news.

Sea Sanctuary’s most recent addition to its services is the award-winning G999 project, an innovative community partnership between the Devon & Cornwall Police and Sea Sanctuary.

The service provides out of hours help to people where police involvement has been sought, usually at times of acute mental health crisis.

The G999 team supports police officers with the aim to achieve the best possible outcome and thereafter the team at Sea Sanctuary offers a detailed aftercare package to address the underlying cause of distress.

As a result of the funding the charity has announced that it can extend its current programmes, including the long-standing art workshop, which has helped tackle loneliness and isolation.

As restrictions of Covid-19 lift, Sea Sanctuary said it would increase support within the community, such as sail programmes, community outreach and new support mechanisms to ensure people remain buoyant throughout these difficult times and beyond.

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, will enable Sea Sanctuary to offer the sessions to clients either free of charge or at a nominal cost.