About Seachange

Our vision is to offer adults recovering from cancer a unique opportunity to strengthen their minds and bodies. Driven by research and consultation with cancer survivors, professionals in the field of oncology and clinical psychology, each element of the retreats aims to support wellbeing and recovery.

Towan Beach, Newquay

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Jon Kabat Zinn

Set on the stunning Cornish coast where the ocean itself brings a sense of calm, participants are able to take time out for themselves, as well as connecting with others with similar experiences.

Founded by Dr Helen Reynolds, Clinical Psychologist, and Dannie MacLennan, Project Coordinator, SeaChange Retreats bring together their passion for wellbeing, the ocean, and research-driven interventions.

Whether you join us for a day, weekend or week-long retreat, the core components of our retreats are the same:

Each retreat will offer the opportunity to gently build your physical strength through surfing and yoga, drawing on research indicating the role of exercise in maintaining overall physical health, the maintenance of remission, and as a key way of managing some of the side effects of treatment such as cancer-related fatigue. Growing research also indicates the benefits of nature immersion on mental wellbeing; and the ocean offers the perfect playground for building confidence in a body that it may feel has let you down. Group surf sessions with qualified instructors will be tailored to individual physical need and focused on getting you up and riding while having fun in the water. Yoga sessions will allow you to stretch out post-surf, building both flexibility and inner calm. An introduction to Mindfulness practice will explore how to calm the mind and build psychological strength.

Depending on the length of your selected retreat, a variety of workshops will be available focusing on cancer-specific recovery. Based on consultation with cancer survivors and professionals in the field, these target key challenges that face those in recovery. Tackling anxiety about the fear of cancer recurrence will be a core session for all retreats. Additional workshops focusing on pain management; body image and physical appearance; the impact of cancer on our identity; and strategies for improving wellbeing will be included in our longer retreats. Workshops will be delivered by experienced professionals, in a relaxed and supportive environment aiming to facilitate discussion and sharing of ideas and experiences.

For those on our week-long residential retreats, participants will also have the opportunity to join some of our add-on sessions such as daily meditation sessions; movie nights; coastal walking opportunities; a one-to-one counselling session; and cancer touch massage therapy sessions, with access to nutritious freshly-cooked meals throughout your stay. Luxury accommodation on the Cornish coast will provide the ideal setting to enable you to fully unwind and relax.

Our aim is to create a warm and welcoming environment with opportunities to connect with others, as well as time to reconnect with yourself. We hope that you will leave feeling physically and mentally nourished, and better equipped to deal with the challenges posed by cancer recovery in your day-to-day life.

Find out more about the research that underpins our retreats.

The retreats are open to any adult (18y+) who finished their treatment at least 6 months ago. We know that recovery is a long journey, therefore you are welcome to join us at any stage in this path. Our guidance of ‘at least 6 months’ aims to support you to rebuild some physical strength to allow you to get the most from the activities on the retreats. Please see our Activities page for more detailed information about the physical aspects of our sessions to help guide when you think might be most helpful in your recovery journey for you to join us.

If you would like to attend but would like to bring a supporter with you, just let us know and we can arrange this with you. If you would like to chat through any questions you might have about the retreats, or specific needs we might need to support you with, then please click here to get in touch.

We currently have availability for the following retreats in 2020:

Day Retreat: Saturday 12th September

A chance to experience your first surfer’s stoke, come together for a recovery-focused workshop and be nourished with beautiful and delicious food.

Weekend Retreat: 25th – 27th September

Develop your surf skills, join our recovery-focused workshops & wellbeing activities, and be suitably nourished whilst sharing experiences in good company.

Looking for in-depth information on our surf lessons, recovery-focused workshops and wellbeing activities?

Concerned about how covid-19 might be affecting our retreats? Click here to find out more.