Our work on health and fitness

Getting fit and healthy and staying fit and healthy while living and working at sea can be challenging, and the health challenges don’t necessarily end when you leave.

To help you live a long, independent and active life, both in work and in retirement, we are constantly developing the work we do to support the health and fitness needs of seafarers of all ages.

There are a number of services available now and new projects in the pipeline.

To find out more
To find out more about help available, call us on 020 8858 3696, email admin@seahospital.org.uk or write to us at 29 King William Walk, Greenwich, London SE10 9HX.


Free physiotherapy services

Working at sea is one of the most challenging jobs in the UK and the number of work-related injuries is high. Time spent offshore means it can be difficult getting treatment so the Seafarers Hospital Society is backing free, fast access physiotherapy treatment for working seafarers.

We have a number schemes:

  • Harbourside Physiotherapy service – for seafarers in Newlyn and the West Cornwall area
  • Connect Physiotherapy – a national scheme for seafarers living anywhere in the UK
  • Harbourside network – a new initiative to create a network of practices close to the harbour as part of the SeaFit programme

arrow Find out more about free physiotherapy services

arrow Read about the difference that free physiotherapy has made to Julie Hicks from the Scilly Isles

seafarers health safety

Mental health advice and wellbeing service 

Since 1st June 2016 the Society has been funding an online mental health and wellbeing advice and support service for working seafarers and families based in the UK, which is provided by Togetherall (previously known as Big White Wall or BWW).

arrow Find out more about Togetherall

fisherman_brochure_frontA health workshop manual for working fishermen – Fisherman

The first ever health manual for working fishermen, published jointly with Men’s Health Forum and funded by the Maritime Charities Group (MCG). This is an easy to follow guide full of top tips and practical advice. Written in the style of the popular Haynes car manual, it uses humour to address serious and potentially embarrassing topics, from drugs and alcohol to sex and impotence. To order hard copies, call us on 020 8858 3696 or email admin@seahospital.org.uk

arrow Click here to download a copy of the manual

Seafarers’ fitness guide – Get Fit, Look Good, Feel Good

Published in association with The Physical Initiative, this guide aims to help serving seafarers get fit and stay fit through a diet and exercise programme.

arrow Click here to download a copy of the guide

Hospital treatment at the Dreadnought

The Dreadnought is based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London and offers a range of treatments for those working at sea. It is run by the NHS with support from the Society.

arrow Find out more about the Dreadnought Medical Service

Disability aids

The Society also provides grants for health related items such as disability aids, stair lifts, electrically powered vehicles, riser/recliner chairs and adapted bathrooms.

arrow Find out more about grants to individuals


Specialist dementia nurse, Wallasey

In collaboration with the Nautilus Welfare Fund, the Society is contributing the major portion of funding towards the appointment, on an 18 month pilot basis, of a specialist dementia nurse based at the Nautilus Mariners’ Park facility in Wallasey. The nurse is providing specialist support to residents with dementia needs, as well as to those living in the community and known to Nautilus. In both cases, support is also provided to their professional and family carers. The pilot began in mid-2017.

In the context of the well-known growing challenge of dementia, a key aspect of the pilot will be to share the lessons learned and to disseminate these to the wider maritime charity sector.

Improving the health and wellbeing of fishermen

The Society is working in partnership with the Fishermen’s Mission to develop a long-term programme to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of fishermen throughout the UK. Building on our experience of outreach work and the success of previous joint pilot events, the new programme will link in with existing NHS and Public Health services to facilitate access to local health promotion and prevention initiatives and, where services are limited, work with the local teams to support outreach into the fishing communities. Known as SeaFit, this new programme is now up and running.

seafit logoarrow Find out more about the SeaFit programme 

Dental health checks

Free dental health checks for fishermen and their families

Many fishermen and their families find it difficult to access dental care and we are exploring what we can do to address the problem. We have partnered with the Fishermen’s Mission and community dental providers Smile Together and Dentaid to offer free dental health checks at a variety of harbourside locations. This is now part of the SeaFit Programme.

We are also working with a local dental practice in Troon to offer a monthly walk-in clinic for fishermen and their families. This is also part of the SeaFit programme.

arrow_footer Find out more about free dental health checks

Dental health programme for pupils at Newlyn School

Brighter Smiles group photo portrait smallThe Society has launched a new initiative to improve dental health amongst fishing families in Cornwall. We are funding a 5-year programme to teach young children how to look after their teeth. Community Dental provider Smile Together will deliver their Brighter Smiles programme to 5-9 year old pupils at Newlyn School. From Autumn 2019 the school will receive dedicated support including:

  • Daily tooth-brushing clubs for nursery and reception classes
  • Free fluoride varnishing for reception and year 1 to protect against tooth decay
  • Education and advice for all children, staff and parents/carers to establish good eating habits and limit sugary snacks and drinks
  • Home education packs for every child to help establish good practice at home
  • A dedicate dental nurse to work with teachers and classroom staff

The Society has a long history of providing health and welfare support to seafarers and their families including the provision of free dental treatment. However, this is the first time we have focused on the prevention of dental ill-health and targeted children.

We know from our work with fishermen that poor dental health is a real problem in the fishing community. A combination of lack of NHS provision and problems with making and keeping appointments when you work at sea have led to a crisis in dental health for fishing families. Through or work on the SeaFit Programme, Smiles at Sea and other initiatives, we are already providing free dental checks and emergency treatment for fishermen and their families at the harbourside in an effort to address the immediate problem. Now we are funding Brighter Smiles in a 5-year programme to teach children to look after their teeth and prevent the problem occurring in the first place.

If this programme proves successful we would hope to expand into other areas where fishing communities are struggling to access dental care.

arrow Find out more about the launch of the Brighter Smiles Programme at Newlyn School

To find out more
To find out more about our development work or if you have any suggestions about potential projects, contact : admin@seahospital.org.uk


arrow To find out more about projects we have run in the past, click here