Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap

Mammoth sailing trip to support adults with psychosis- Press Release

Press Release

11th April 2023

Mammoth sailing trip to support adults with psychosis.

Adventure therapy helps Leeds adults living with mental health condition.

A group of adults from Leeds experiencing psychosis are set to take part in a mammoth 360- mile sailing trip as part of an adventure therapy programme designed to help them manage the impact and effects of the mental health condition.

aspire, the Leeds based early intervention in psychosis service organising the voyage, have already raised £4,000 towards the trip but need to secure another £8,000 to fund the group taking part in the six-day adventure from Hartlepool to Ipswich.

The trip – called Voyage to Recovery – will see the group set off on 18th June and learn to crew a 75-foot sailing boat named Faramir.

They will live, eat, and sleep aboard the boat – with no shower and only two small toilets – as they work together to reach Ipswich by 23rd June.

This year’s Voyage to Recovery is the second time aspire and its clients will take part in the trip, having completed the sailing challenge in September 2021.

An aspire client who experiences psychosis and took part in the trip in 2021, said: “Because it was such a unique experience, it destroyed the loops I was in. It really worked for me…I am now two years ahead of the recovery process. I know that I can achieve more than I thought, and I’ve applied for a new job since returning because I feel more capable.

“I saw a part of myself that I like, one that I hadn’t seen for two years before the trip. I was an amazing experience.”

Michael Kissoon, senior occupational therapist and service manager at aspire, explained: “Adventure therapy centres on using a challenging and unfamiliar environment – often in nature – to create an intense physical demand, new social interactions, and the learning of new skills.

“There is a range of recommended treatments for the first episode of psychosis, including medication, talking therapy, and social recovery.

“It can be reasoned, though, that a life event as impactful as psychosis requires an equally impactful intervention – and that is where adventure therapy comes in.

“This can then act as a catalyst for pursuing and developing meaningful occupation in the future. The evidence base for the success of this type of therapy is growing, particularly among young people.”

The main symptoms of psychosis are hallucinations and delusions, where people see or hear things that are not there or believe things that are not true.

Mr Kissoon added: “At the end of the last trip, I could hear stories being shared, bruises being compared, laughing at photos, and contact details being exchanged.

“A group of relative strangers had been buoyed by each other’s strength and support – everyone had endured healthy physical and mental hardship, and realised they were stronger than they once believed.”

To make a donation towards this year’s trip, please visit


Issued on behalf of Inspire North & Community Links by Alex Mason, PR consultant. For more information, please email

About the Voyage to Recovery

  • The Voyage to Recovery is a National Project, involving several Early Intervention in Psychosis teams from across the UK
  • The aim of the project is to sail from the South Coast all the way around Scotland and back via the East Coast
  • The Voyage to Recovery works in partnership with the Cirdan Sailing Trust, who will be providing the boat,
  • A three-person crew will train and support the aspire team on how to sail and navigate Faramir during their East Coast leg of the trip