The Ithaca Project

Our flagship community boating initiative. It allows our crews to fully appreciate the majesty of the Norfolk Broads whilst allowing the boating community and public at large to show their appreciation for our staff.

Why The Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is a gift; however, it is also largely overlooked by most, including our staff. Numerous studies have evidenced the mental health benefits that the sea, rivers, and lakes can provide, and we happen to have an amazing river network running through the heart of the county.

One of our directors, Rev. Natalie West and her partner Neil Spencer have kindly offered use of their classic wooden boat (Broadland Grebe) to our cause, which helped form the foundation of the Ithaca Project.

Since then, we have grown with two other members of the local boating community offering skippered cruises to our staff.

Choosing Who To Prioritise

Our purpose is to provide respite and decompression cruises to staff deemed at risk of clinical burnout or a mental health crisis.

These are informal and we have a ‘no strings attached’ approach. There is no expectation on staff to open up or discuss anything, we are simply brought together to escape from work-based stressors and enjoy the Broads as both friends and peers. Bespoke cruises are available if required and remain situation dependant.

Each cruise is led by the owners and trained Circus Head volunteers will assist throughout the day and provide peer led support and sign posting to the appropriate services if required.

The other two boats that have joined our cause are called Bollysnigh of Oakwood and Lovejoy, they are both magnificent and have unique and diverse histories.

Relax & Unwind

The aim of the Ithaca Project is to give staff in the medical profession a way of escaping their work for a few hours so that they can relax and refresh

Build Friendships

Work will often take over their life, making it difficult to form friendships. We aim to bring these people together.

Mental Health

Often staff will spend their life caring for other and will forget to take care of themeself. We aim to have conversations about mental health

Broadland Grebe

Bollysnigh Of


The Boats - Kindly Volunteered

All three of these boats are beautiful and have afforded us an amazing opportunity to get this service underway. Approximately 32-40ft long and each with a vast and rich history in Norfolk; the very nature of these wooden vessels enhances the experience they provide. It is incredibly generous of their owners to donate both their time and labours of love to our staff. In the future, we will be documenting their boating history and stories through our website.