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  • Northside West

Coolmine recovery voyage is all at sea

Friday, 29th September, 2017 1:00pm
Coolmine recovery voyage is all at sea

Pictured on the voyage are (l-r): Jason Mooney, Paul Hatton, Coolmine, David Mannion, Kate Daly, Anthony Heffernan and Donna Kane. PHOTO: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY

Coolmine recovery voyage is all at sea

Pictured on the voyage are (l-r): Jason Mooney, Paul Hatton, Coolmine, David Mannion, Kate Daly, Anthony Heffernan and Donna Kane. PHOTO: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY

NINE clients currently recovering from addictions at Coolmine have sailed from Dunmore East, Waterford, to Dublin Port as part of a unique Voyage of Recovery programme.

The innovative programme provides opportunities for those suffering with drug and alcohol problems to develop skills and build confidence through sailing.

The Irish voyage is being organised by the Cork-based Sailing into Wellness organisation, established by James Lyons, one of Ireland's most experienced sail training professionals, and Colin Healy from Mallow, who overcame addiction and mental health problems through sailing.

David Mannion from Dublin who is currently in residential therapy at Coolmine said that it was the best experience in his life.

“I spent a lot of time on drugs and in jail,” he said. “This was the first time that I spent 24 hours with a group.

“We were working for the two days and we were up all night sailing from Waterford to Dublin.

“We all had to work together to make sure we got to Dublin.”

Twelve people who are receiving similar therapy at Phoenix Futures in the UK also sailed into Dublin Port last week and a further ten Coolmine clients were due to set sail from Dublin Port to Dunmore East later in the week.

Colin Healy said that the sailing activities undertaken by the young people could open doors to a new life without drink and drugs.

“Sailing into Wellness helps reduce the risk of relapse, deepens engagement with treatment and encourage participants to really think about living,” he explained.

James Lyons said that, in a short space of time, Sailing into Wellness instructors and coaches develop the skills of the participants where they are fully in control of the boat and crew.

“Sail training empowers people to cope with a challenging natural environment.

“It helps remove traditional barriers to getting support,” he continued.

Pauline McKeown, Chief Executive, said that the programme was a perfect fit with Coolmine Therapeutic Community as the participants work together within a community to achieve their goals as they sail around Ireland.

“They enjoyed the isolation and freedom, which gave them a chance to put things into perspective,” she added.

“The Voyage coincides with the 16th European Federation of Therapeutic Communities ‘Pathway to Recovery’ conference in Dublin this week.”

The Voyage of Recovering project is supported by Dublin Port Company.

Its Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said that facilitating such a worthwhile sailing project contributes to the promotion of sailing as a positive way to improve wellbeing.

“I congratulate the organisers on their innovative approach to overcoming addiction and mental health problems among young people,” he added.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here