Shropshire’s Early Intervention in Psychosis Team Celebrate Voyage to Recovery Success page thumbnail

A group of young people from Shropshire have returned to land following a sailing trip of a lifetime.

Voyage to Recovery saw the six young people crew a sailing boat, which travelled around the coast of Wales over six days.

The experience was organised by the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (EIPS) for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. The service works with young people who have had a first episode of psychosis.

Among the group was 25-year-old Laura Owen, from Telford, who has been supported by the service for almost two years.

She said: “It was absolutely unreal. Really amazing. None of us, including the staff, had ever done anything like this before. But we were all going into the same situation, and we were all in it together.

“Whatever needed to be done was done as a team, such as putting the sail up, or cooking. It was a nice little community where everyone helped each other out.

“I always struggle with trust, so it was a new experience for me, but you have to trust each other to get you through it.

“The only expectation I had was thinking that we would be in sight of land during the trip, but we were out on the open sea, which turned out to be very peaceful.”

Christine Pybus, a Senior Early Intervention Practitioner with Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which run the EIPS, was one of four members of staff who joined the voyage.

She said: “It was an amazing experience and when we reflected on the trip, everyone commented on how much more resilient they felt.

“They believed anything was achievable with a bit of perseverance and compassion shown to one another along the way. The support shown to one another, particularly in this first day and a half, created a mentality of we’re all literally in the same boat.

“Each night we planned together as a team using books which showed high tide and low tide times. We examined wind direction, tidal direction, how many nautical miles per hour we could travel, and what time we had to set off to make our destination safely. This structure and teamwork got us through some incredibly challenging times over the course of the trip.”