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Sea Sanctuary
Services and organisations that have the Local Offer flash have filled out inclusion information, meaning that they meet the needs of people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Sea Sanctuary is an innovative marine-based mental health Charity, founded in 2006, and the only Charity of its kind. 

Using the setting of the sea, we currently assess, improve and maintain peoples’ positive mental health and wellbeing through engaging in marine-based activities and health development.

Sea Sanctuary supports some of the most vulnerable people in society, many of whom have no other support whatsoever, and for whom life is often difficult.  We help people manage depression, anxiety and alcohol/drug misuse.  Additionally, our programme is effective with people who have experienced trauma or who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder.  A firm foundation of a non-judgemental approach, compassion, empathy and dedication, underpin all of our health education programmes, which results in a powerful formula for recovery

Sea Sanctuary uses two very different platforms from which we deliver our services; our wooden yacht ‘Fire Dancer’ and through our land-based facility, ‘Water’s Edge’.  Despite their obvious differences, each of the services dovetail together allowing us to provide intensive treatment for approximately 300-400 people each year. Crucially, each of these services can also work independently as a stand-alone intervention. 

Sea Sanctuary adopts a person-centred approach which places each individual at the centre of developing and delivering their support programmes. Activities including sailing, paddle boarding, creative writing, art, mindfulness are interwoven with psychological support which creates a balanced and unique approach to helping our often extremely vulnerable client group.

The delivery of group sessions (process groups), as well as one-to-one sessions, helps individuals to better understand their experiences and their current position, enabling them to explore and understand their feelings, build relationships and be more likely to take steps towards long term positive change.

Sea Sanctuary aims to develop the ‘whole person’ by considering working from the biopsychosocial approach where the numerous factors of well-being are taken into consideration. We offer opportunities to develop new interests and health strategies on which our clients can build a positive future.

Water’s Edge:

Our land-based facility ‘Water’s Edge’ sits on the shoreline beside the Sea Sanctuary HQ and gives us the opportunity to extend our programmes. It is a beautiful, light and spacious facility with views over a stunning tidal estuary awash with an array of boats and wildlife. At Water’s Edge, our clients can relax and find a sense of stability and engage in a range of purposeful activities such as art therapy, creative writing, Mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

Sail into Life

 “FIRE DANCER “is a superb 42-foot wooden classic yacht. On board, we deliver our award-winning day and residential health education programmes.  Our ‘Sail into Life’ programme takes small groups of clients to sea and provides an educational programme which is drawn from both Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Our programmes have been used very successfully by a variety of individuals of different ages, abilities and levels of wellness and are delivered in an informal setting by fully qualified and accredited Therapists.

Our ‘Sail into Life’ programme allows our clients to fully embrace the therapeutic qualities of the sea. The four days spent on the yacht, along with education, relationships and the quality of the sea, give our clients time to open up and explore subjects and areas of their lives that have been off-limits for years. In some cases, trusting relationships have been entirely absent from their lives for periods which can exceed thirty years. Sea Sanctuary helps to restore trust and the potency and effectiveness of our intervention cannot be underestimated. 


Following a £1.72m grant from HM Treasury, Sea Sanctuary has been tasked to set-up and manage a 55m floating wellbeing centre to provide services to improve and maintain mental health and emotional wellbeing in the South West.

The ARC will specialise in the management of trauma whilst also looking at illnesses/disorders that often go hand-in-hand with trauma-related illness (e.g. anxiety, depression). Quite aside from psychological support, the ARC will provide a range of water-based activities (e.g. sailing, kayaking and paddle-boarding) which will complement the so-called `talking therapies’.

The ARC will provide a ‘Best Practice’ model of care for young people. This will dramatically reduce the need for young people to be sign-posted out of county for specialist support as currently, young people are sign-posted hundreds of miles out of county for treatment. Our psychotherapeutic activities, combined with marine activities would allow Sea Sanctuary’s long-term stay clients to enjoy bespoke psychosocial activities, together with statutory support from Cornwall Council.

Through an integrated model of care, promoting social inclusion and tackling antisocial and offending behaviour, our programmes aim to expand opportunities and help to improve the general health and wellbeing of the individual and their abilities to cope with the challenges of everyday life.

Who to contact

Contact name
Anita Chevalier
Contact position
01326 378919
Sea Sanctuary's facebook page
Sea Sanctuary's twitter page

Where to go

Sea Sanctuary
Waterside Court
Falmouth Road
TR10 8AW

Time / date details

When is it on?
Sail into Life Residential Programme – 4 days / 3 days or 1 day (May-November) & Waters Edge – half day workshops run all year round.

Other details


Sea Sanctuary provides a number of different services and the funding of these placements varies. We would encourage you to telephone or email the office for clarification.
Do you offer a free or reduced rate to carers?
Please enter details including what proof is required for the free or reduced rate
Carers attend free when supporting a fully paying individual. We would need to meet with the carer when the individual is assessed and have contact details of the agency they work for.


Age ranges
From 11 years
Referral required
Referral details

Referral forms can either be downloaded from our website or requested and emailed out from our office.

Please contact us for details of individual workshops currently running.

Inclusion details

Saint Piran's Flag Wheelchair icon Icon of two heads
How we make our service inclusive

Water's Edge has a wheelchair ramp to gain access to the creative hub.

Staff SEND experience

Two psychotherapists and a counselor within our team.

How our service supports providers / schools / colleges

We have offered wellbeing programmes and are currently working with a local Academy trust.

Support at key transition points

Our children and family programmes are designed to develop emotional resilience, family cohesion and improve mental health and wellbeing; they reflect the diverse needs and requirements of the actual service users – accommodating diverse learning styles through various mediums.


The families develop stability for general health issues.

Reduce inappropriate coping behaviours.

Encourage participation in education and training.

Develop social/community engagement.

Develop/build psychological/emotional resilience.

Nurture family cohesion/functioning.

Increase confidence in parenting.


These skills have supported, and continue to support, those at key transition points in their lives.

Other local or national support

Links via our website

Resolving disagreements, mediation and making complaints

Full complaint procedure which is available upon request.

Last updated: 10/02/2020

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