Surf club for children with emotional and mental health issues
Children from across Cornwall were blessed with perfect weather at Fistral Beach this weekend as they launched the Wave Project Surf Club, the first in the county to be run by and for children with emotional and mental health issues.
While people all over the country were taking part in the Sport Relief mile, surf club members braved the waves to practice the skills that they had previously learned on a six week surfing course organised by The Wave Project.
The charity uses free surfing courses as a tool to support young people with mental health issues, emotional difficulties or an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
Children aged eight to 18 enjoyed the surfing courses so much that they were inspired to set up a club that would provide them with on-going access to the sport.
Organisers and volunteers provided plenty of support – both in and out of the water – as the keen youngsters rode wave after wave into the shore, under glorious sunshine.
Representatives from local businesses were also on hand to cheer the kids on.
A spokesperson from Cornish company Go Brands, which has recently donated 20 wetsuits to the charity, said that they were delighted to support such a worthwhile cause.
The Pit surf shop from St Merryn also donated two surfboards to The Wave Project Surf Club, and the club has also received support from the Headland Hotel in Newquay.
Joe Taylor, Co-ordinator of The Wave Project, said: “It was a fabulous weekend to launch this new venture, with bright sunshine and perfect waves at Fistral.
“This club is the first to be run by and for children who have suffered from difficulties in their lives, and I am lost in admiration for the young people who have taken part.
“Their ability to confront the difficulties facing their lives and respond in a positive way by launching their own surf club is a statement of how much young people can do.
“I am also very grateful for the many businesses and volunteers who have helped make the project happen with generous donations of money, products and time.”
In April, the Wave Project will be running two free surfing courses for 20 children with mental health needs and autism from Cornwall, at Fistral Beach in Newquay.
Children who complete the course will also be eligible to join the new Wave Project Surf Club.
For more information, people working in professional services in Cornwall should visit www.waveproject.co.uk/referrals.
Volunteers also being sought to take part in the projects. For more information about these opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org