Paignton Peer support group swim for mental health


Step One Charity’s BeWell@StepOne peer support group recently enjoyed the numerous benefits of a cold-water swim thanks to support from fellow local Charity, Healthscape CIC, who kindly gave their time and support to facilitate a dip in the sea at the beautiful Preston Sands in Paignton.

Carole, who is a regular attendee at the group said “I really enjoyed the swim and overall experience. It felt so very refreshing, and not at all cold after initial shock! I really hope to do it again soon.”

Cold-water swimming (or cold-water dipping!) can work wonders for your physical and mental health and is great for anxiety and depression. The benefits include:
– Improved circulation
– A natural high
– A chance to slow down, connect with nature and reduce stress
– Boosting your immune system
– Increasing your libido
– Burning calories
– A wonderful way of socialising and making new friends

Dominic Bryant, Wellbeing Trainer at BeWell also enjoyed a dip with the group. “It was a lovely hour or so, together as a group outside enjoying the natural beauty of Torbay. We connected, had fun, felt invigorated and it lifted the mood of each and every one of us. I cannot thank Healthscape enough for helping to make it happen and we look forward to furthering collaborations in the weeks ahead. Our next plan is to combine a dip with trying out paddleboarding which many of the group have never tried!”

Ginny, who has been part of the group for a number of years and is now a volunteer for BeWell, playing an active role in supporting the weekly groups, also enjoyed a paddle. “It is the first time I have been in the sea and felt the sand between my toes for many years due to health reasons. It was fabulous, a lovely feeling and I am glad I did it, as I very much doubt that I would have without the brilliant support and camaraderie of the group. I would recommend it to anyone as a great ‘pick me up’. I am immensely proud of everyone for being brave and game enough to get involved. Sue and Karen from Healthscape were so very welcoming, knowledgeable, friendly, and supportive. It was a lovely morning. Next time I am going in all the way!”

BeWell@StepOne runs its weekly peer support group every Tuesday morning at The Community Hut behind St Paul’s Church in Preston, Paignton. It offers local people the opportunity to connect, enjoy and receive the benefits of peer support through a range of activities, often focused on crafting and wellbeing strategies, along with a new Men’s Wellbeing Walk which takes place in the local area. The support group is particularly helpful for those struggling to maintain good mental health for whatever reason.

On Thursdays, BeWell@StepOne also run a weekly wellbeing session from 10am till 12pm at the same venue, which provides a chance for people to discuss and learn about new coping strategies, enjoy some games and make new connections. Both groups are free to attend for everyone across Devon over the age of 18 and tea and coffee is provided.

To find out more about BeWell@StepOne, the peer support groups and the numerous free online group courses that supports people’s mental health and wellbeing, visit or email

To find out more about the regular local sea dips hosted by Healthscape CIC, visit

The BeWell@StepOne project is entirely funded through voluntary donations such as community fundraising efforts, grants and gifts in wills. If you would like to support this crucial service through a one-off donation, regular monthly payment or even by setting yourself a fundraising challenge, please get in touch with the Step One Fundraising team at

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One Comment

  1. Step One support abuse, discrimination and neglect.

    I've experienced it personally.