Looking beyond… Then seeing it through…
Our aim as a charitable trust is to promote adventure sailing voyages for people of all ages, especially those recovering from misuse of drugs and alcohol.
This is not a medical intervention, indeed we have some reservations about the way the medical world has attempted to help such people in the recent past. We provide an opportunity for rehab people to rebuild their personal life by being challenged by one of the most wonderful aspects of our planet, the sea. Our clients are all 100% abstinent and there are no exceptions to this.
Our belief, borne out by our early voyages since 2009 is that a certain kind of adventure sailing experience can make a major difference to people in Recovery. This work is developing steadily but slowly and this is no bad thing as we are keen to do it well. We have discovered that there's a lot more to this activity than simply putting people on a sailing boat for a week, and an essential first step is to treat each person as a unique individual. Not far behind is having the right boat and we are very lucky that Tectona is a perfect vessel for this.
As you can see, we are keen to avoid dogma. If we have a system, it is that sailing experiences are choreographed towards achieving the maximum benefit for each client. "One size fits all"? No! One size fits one, and then only if you're lucky!
Our outcomes are achieved by an 'envelope of care' where a client has some contact and input before the voyage, and then stays in touch after it, perhaps going on to join future trips as a volunteer and thereafter as a full member of the team.
One such person is Darren, who until 5 years ago was living rough on the streets of London, 'hopelessly addicted to heroin.' The possibility of earning a voyage on Tectona was a key element in his successful progress through rehab at Phoenix Futures. Once he was on the voyage, he made the sea and working at sea the new objective for his life, and he has achieved this with remarkable success. Darren became the First Mate on Tectona, a salaried position with the prospect of one day becoming Skipper. To see this guy making such a success of his new life and bringing so much positivity into his work on board is heart-warming indeed.
Finally, we believe our work should be evidence-based. This does not mean slavish adherence to evidence just to tick a box, but using proper research to direct what we do and validate our outcomes. We are delighted that the Peninsula Medical School is working with us on this. The report can be seen here.
Dr Roger Crabtree, MB BS, DRCOG, DipMedEd, RCGP Drug Misuse Cert Pt 1, RYA Yachtmaster Offshore. Hon CEO Tectona Trust, Regd Charity 1127573.C/o Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, 2 The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LR.