Letter to the Editor: The Wave Project Santa Surfs to End the Year

It’s really been a wonderful year in the water for The Wave Project here in Devon. As we hang up our rash vests for Christmas I wanted to write and say thank you! 

1 in 6 children in the UK struggle daily with their mental health. Issues including anxiety, loneliness, bullying and isolation have been compounded by the pandemic, resulting in rising cases of self-harm and suicidal thoughts amongst our young people. The Wave Project works closely with our local communities to offer as many children and young adults as possible, a safe place to build resilience, self-confidence and friendships. Because of Rockfish we have been able to offer a safe umbrella. 

Funding for Children’s Mental Health is not keeping up with the rise in demand and it falls to charities like The Wave Project to fill the gap. Without your generous donation and continued support done of this would have been possible.  I want to give you the numbers of what we have done this year in Devon. 

We have worked with more young surfers than ever before in Devon: 197 young people completed Barnardos short courses before the surf therapy season started, and we’ve run more Surf Therapy courses than ever, with 20 in total in Devon, 10 on each coast!

Surf Clubs have kept growing with 280 young people in surf club in Devon. 

The Wave Project ran a pilot called ‘Surf to Work’ for 16-24 year olds on universal credit referred by the job centre, with courses run from Torbay and Barnstable. 

Wave Rangers has continued to expand and grow this year with over 270 young people joining this year and having over 25 hours of sessions each. 

Adaptive surfing has really taken off with 140 sessions, seeing over 60 Adaptive surfers. We have added to our specialised equipment and even more importantly have invested in our Instructors and our enthusiastic volunteers.

Devon residents won national Wave Project Awards, Frank – Young Volunteer, Brendon Prince – Fundraiser of the Year and Max – Adaptive Surfer of the Year. 

Its been an incredible team effort, none of which would have been possible without all of you! Thank you for helping to change the tide, the ripple effect of this will continue to make a positive impact for years to come. 

We want to say a thank you to the amazing community at Rockfish with their £1 donation on bills, this model has fundraising has been in invaluable support and allowed us to keep making a difference here in Devon. With pressure on mental health services, we are looking for more businesses to get on board if you would like to help support us please get in contact [email protected] 

Wishing you all a wonderful 2022 and Merry Christmas!

Warmest Wishes 

Katie Smith (South Devon Coordinator)