Story of the Seabirds

The Seabirds in Brighton sell our haramaki as core-warmers to their sea swimmers. Here is their story:

Story of the Seabirds…..

 

Cath and Kath LOVE the Sea and Swimming in it. Our first winter swim-through was 2017. We didn’t plan it, we just never felt like stopping. It never got too hard or painful and always felt worth it. It made us feel happier and kept us buzzing. It very quickly became the thing that we hadn’t realised we needed but really, really did and we recognised the huge benefits to our wellbeing from it. Couldn’t give it up. So glad to have found it. So became a bit ‘evangelical’ about the whole sea swimming and wellbeing thing…

 

Swimspiration

One day when we were having a swim and floating about on some pretty bouncy waves we thought – we could share this with other people – everyone should be doing this! – its so good for our wellbeing. This is how Seabirds was born. The name came from Cath, she realised one day that they had become ‘those old birds that get in the sea every day’ that she had admired from afar while staying dry (how did I live without the sea in my life??!!! Cath). Now proud to embrace this title and new life enriched by the sea, we called ourselves and our venture, Seabirds…..

 

Social Enterprise

We didn’t want to start a charity knowing the vagaries of funding and grants etc. We wanted to run our project sustainably and self sufficiently – so we started a Community Interest Company with the profits going to fund Seabirds’ ‘Water and Wellbeing’ community work…..

Seabirds’ Wild Swim Shop

We sell swim stuff in our online Wild Swim Shop and we run courses, talks and sessions. All profits go towards our Salted Wellbeing work. We source swimmy items that make sea swimming more comfortable – robes, goggles, hats, tow floats etc. We take the quality and ethics of the products we source very seriously. We spend a lot of time choosing and testing before we decide to sell them (a fun bit!)….

 

‘Women Wellbeing and Water’

Sea swimming is free and available to all, in theory…but there are many obstacles that people face getting in the water or even considering it an option. There are many residents of Brighton who never even visit the beach. We know how much the cold, the community and being immersed in nature help us and we want others to realise this too. So our main aim is to get those who would not normally easily access sea swimming as a tool to maintain wellbeing and yet are in great need of it. We got lottery funding to run our ‘Women, Water and Wellbeing’ course in 2018 with local mental health charity Threshold to refer participants to us. It was a great success and we plan more for next ‘warm season’.

Salty Seabirds

Our swim community (currently at over 1000 members!) was born when we held our pilot session for our Women, Wellbeing and Water course and many of the participants wanted to keep swimming then and there. It is an unexpected joy to be part of a thriving flock of fellow sea swimmers. Swimming, silliness, support, handstands, hugs, friendship and general playful messing about and cake. Its all bloody brilliant. An inclusive community where all are welcome. Turns out we all need more of this in our lives!

So that is our Seabird story (so far anyway!). You support our work everytime you buy your swim stuff from us and share our social media posts. Thank you! We genuinely do little happy dances every time we make a sale. Do come for a swim and share the swim love with us if you haven’t already, it has changed our lives and we are very glad.

 

With love,

 

Cath and Kath

Directors of Seabirds Ltd, Community Interest Company

Seabirds sea swimmers

At NukuNuku we are very happy to know that our Haramakis support people who work and play outside as they allow you to stay outside longer by keeping them warmer for longer.

A great example is the growing wild swimming community. Seabirds Ltd sell NukuNuku Haramakis and their sea swimming community benefits from having discovered our core-warmers for warming up post-sea swim. Here is a post from one of the Seabirds explaining why she loves Sea Swimming and how to start it up:

Sea swimming has become part of my regular routine now. It gives me equilibrium. It never fails to shift a black mood. I am outside in all weathers, enjoying life and feeling alive. Swimming with the Salty Seabirds has brought fun and laughter into my life on a daily basis. Having FUN and JOY as a routine part of my daily life is SO MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE. This has made me realise how previously days/weeks/months could go by before where life was mainly job and duty, no scheduled FUN, much less laughter and playfulness. I have re-discovered my inner child doing handstands in the cold water and found my tribe having a laugh about forgetting my pants again with other Salties drinking tea on the beach.  This is why we started Seabirds Ltd and then the Salty Seabirds. To share the swim love and enlarge the group of like minded folk who relish dicking about in the sea in all weathers! We all deserve fun and laughter and to play – it is the antidote to many, many things I have found.

So if you want to start, how does the Salty Seabird Swim Community work? Firstly it is SELF SERVICE so if you need a swim set up every Wednesday at 3pm for example – you can set one up. Our current regular swims are: Mondays 10:45, Fridays 13:30 and Saturday 9:45 (all Hove Lawns/Dolphin 5) were all set up to fit with our work/life routines.  Regular swims are in the events section on the facebook page. So are event swims like the monthly full moon swims.

So there are the regular swims, and then the daily random/spontaneous swims posted in the group. This of course takes a bit more Facebook hovering. Anyone can post and if it is posted in the group any member is welcome and can turn up. Unless stated otherwise (ie the rare ‘who will come around the West Pier with me type invitations’) dipping and messing about, head out breaststroke or head down crawl swimming round the buoys all welcome. I for one am a parallel breaststroker and happy with that. You don’t need to be a confident or ‘strong’ swimmer to stay in the shallows and swim parallel to the shore. No wetsuit or wetsuit on. Whatever suits you best. No judgement, all welcome. The experienced Salties are all very friendly and kind, you will be welcomed and glad you came along.

Haramaki:essential kit in Summer

So running a business mainly selling core-warmers could be tricky in the summer – or so you would think! While we can’t really argue that when the weather goes about 20 degrees only those who really feel the cold need a haramaki for warmth – there are plenty of times when one is invaluable throughout the summer months….

  1. Protect yourself from air-conditioning – in offices and on planes. How many times have you got off a long plane journey and come down with a cold? or tried to sleep under the scratchy free blanket but not been able to because of the draft and cold? Put on your core-warmer and snuggle down to a good sleep and get off feeling refreshed.

2. Take your haramaki camping or to the beach and put it on as evening cools. Takes up little space but packs a big cosy punch. Really helps when sitting round a campfire when your front is toasty and your back is facing out into the cold evening.

3. Beach life! surfing, sea swimming, picnics etc – the Sea will cool you down however warm it is on land. The haramaki in the bag can make the difference between having to leg it home shivering or being able to sit out on the beach enjoying the post-dip glow!

4. British Weather – “There’s no such thing as bad weatheronly bad clothes”. In Swedish, it means “Go outside.” You can still wear your summer clothes when the temperature drops – just add a haramaki as an extra layer and enjoy the great outdoors – whatever the weather!