Where did we begin
Shadow Wind CIC was set up to provide a place for marginalised groups and individuals to come together in an environment very different from what they are normally used to. Along with activity, direction, and support this provides a good a catalyst for positive change.
Coming from a background of the sea where the sea is used as a medium to support and grow people in a number of positive ways, the directors were surprised to find nothing like this existed in Liverpool.
Liverpool has a great maritime heritage and yet it's presence is very much underused, with most of the city's population unaware of how important the Mersey is and the life it provides. What the Mersey does offer is a chance to experience the river and the sea and experience a very different view on life - one that allows people to look at their home and their environment in a different way and take something new from it.
After working with another CIC and bringing homeless people to the boat to share their experience the results were so positive that we opened up the boat to others to come along. Some came for a chat, others came and instantly wanted to learn to sail. The more people that came the more we received great feedback from the people themselves who were eager for us to carry on.
What are the current activities and services provided?
Working for charities and community interest companies, community centers, etc: We offer Sailing, Boat Maintenance, and Activity Days for the above and marginalised groups (homeless, youth in care, people with mental illnesses, ex-forces, ethnic groups, etc). We also offer these experiences to supporting organisations such as community support groups, housing organisations, and support workers. You do not need to be part of a group to come out though!
How does Shadow Wind support people and communities?
Sailing has long been known as one of the most powerful character and team building experiences. Every person on a small boat at sea must learn to face their fears, overcome problems, and carry out tasks to ensure the boat can sail. They must also learn to live and work with others in a very small space day after day and this builds a great level of tolerance for others and an understanding of what other people may feel.
Working to a routine in a team builds self discipline and the whole package leaves anybody who experiences it with increased confidence, self respect, and a level of inner peace due to the closeness of nature felt. The benefit to the community is the increased good character and self confidence of the people who have been sailing, and how they realise that they can go out and live, work, and make a positive difference to their community.
Boat Maintenance teaches people not only main stream skills such as basic woodwork, painting, and maintenance, but also less obvious skills such as plumbing. electronics, rope-work, wire-work, finishing, fibre glassing, sewing, and others. There is not only a therapeutic value to doing such work but an increase in self esteem when completing a job and seeing what the individual or group has managed. The people we have worked with so far have expressed comments such as "it is a good reason to get up in the morning", and "they enjoy being in the group". They have also completed some very high standards of work which they have been justifiably proud of. This benefits the community by not only increasing the skills of the people in it who may otherwise have not had this opportunity, but also by inspiring these people to go back to their community and add something to it by having the confidence and ability to build something themselves. Sometimes we run activities which are not sailing or boat maintenance, but are aimed at bringing people together, maybe teaching something (about the sea, or history for example), and will include visiting schools, taking people around the boats, helping a charity etc. These are to provide a more relaxed day for everybody involved, and also to directly do something for the community. This gives us some flexibility in what we take on and allows us an element of marketing.
Is this Community driven?
Very much so. We look to help marginalised people in the community build up confidence and skills (sailing, maintenance, etc) to be able to help sail the boats and repair them. The homeless people we have worked with so far have been keen to understand more about living in the marina community; we have had people with drug issues eager to go to sea for extended periods; and people with mental health issues finding peace and support within our group. We like to build an itinerary of what we do and where we sail with the help of these people.
How do people access Shadow Wind?
How do people access Shadow Wind?
Get in touch through our website here, or ask your group leader/support worker to do it. It can be to come and see the boat, spend half a day or more doing some maintenance with us for yourself or your group, or even come on a trip out to sea... It's as much or as little as you would like to do
"When you get to the end of your life, you won't base it on the things that happened to you along the way - you will base it on how you feel about the things that happened to you along the way. That is a big clue to the art of happiness and feeling content."
About the Crew
Lisa is primarily responsible for looking after all of the people that come to Shadow Wind - those that work for us and those that come from the community. Her number one priority is seeing people smile, and she does this very well.
James is a professional sailor, an advanced therapist/coach, has written four online programmes of Self-Development, and developed a form of physical meditation. With a life long passion for psychology and sailing, he has seen the changes that happen to people when they come together around a boat. Now he passes on his experiences to help turn other's lives around.
Dave is an ‘Adventure Psychologist’ and our multimedia ‘guru’ whose photography and writings have graced the national press in recent months on the subject of adventure sports and mental well-being and performance. Adept with a peanut butter sandwich, he can be found above and below decks, brimming with ideas on how to get the most out of sailing and adventure experiences!
Kevin is our long suffering engineer, boldly venturing into the dark depths of the engine room and often found looking confused. He has a history of youth work in many areas, loves sailing, and being outdoors, and keeps us going. Especially with his steak pies...
And so many others...
People that come to Shadow Wind include everybody from the unemployed through to ex executives, people that have suffered from mental health or drug/alcohol abuse, homeless, youth, and ex-offenders, and anybody who is looking for a better way of living, and a way of finding and sustaining change in their lives to bring them peace. As well as the crew mentioned above we have volunteers within our community who come and give us their time and support in many different ways. If you have any time, skills, or just a desire for interesting conversation and free tea and biscuits, please get in touch