Wave Project Charity Launches New Year Fundraising Challenge


Posted:
7:00 a.m. on January 8, 2022



A charity that organizes surf therapy sessions for children and youth has appealed for the New Year to raise much-needed funds.

Wave Project – based in Goodrington, Bigbury, Croyde, Sidmouth and Westward Ho! – decided to use the winter months to do something ambitious – a campaign to raise £ 22,000 for 2022 by the end of February.


Challenge 22 of the Wave project
– Credit: Wave Project

The “22 Challenge” will see people challenge each other in 22 different things – like doing 22 cold water dives, 22 surf / SUP, have 22 people at a morning coffee, walk 22 miles of coastal path, or do nothing. matter what 22 ideas of their own.

Wave Project is a registered charity that supports children and youth who suffer from various physical and mental health issues, social deprivation or social isolation.

They are referred and can attend Wave Project classes and surf clubs and are supported by surfing to build confidence and self-esteem, build resilience and make friends.

And £ 22,000 will allow Wave Project to pay for 80 surf club / surf therapy sessions that cost surf schools £ 15,000, plus the cost of core staff for those sessions.


Wave project volunteers dressed as a party

Wave project volunteers dressed as a party
– Credit: Wave Project

A Wave Project spokesperson said, “It would be great to know that we have the money to be able to engage in these sessions.

“While it might seem like an unrealistic challenge, we really think we can do it if we all come together. Across the UK we have 7,000 volunteers, 1,012 surf club parents / chaperones and 2,039 referrals in the Wave Project, and we really need everyone to help out with that.

“One in six children in the UK struggles with their mental health on a daily basis. Problems such as anxiety, loneliness, bullying and isolation have been made worse by the pandemic, leading to an increase in cases of self-harm and of suicidal thoughts among our young people.

“The Wave Project works closely with our local communities to provide as many children and young adults as possible a safe place to build resilience, self-confidence and friendships. “

Supporters include celebrity chef Mitch Tonks, based in Brixham, whose Rockfish restaurants have a £ 1 donation on bills.

This fundraiser has been invaluable, allowing Wave Project to continue to make a difference here in Devon.

“Thanks to Rockfish, we were able to provide a safe umbrella,” said the spokesperson for the association.


Santa Claus arrives on an adaptive surfboard

Santa Claus arrives on an adaptive surfboard
– Credit: Wave Project

“Funding for children’s mental health does not keep pace with increasing demand and it is up to charities like the Wave Project to fill the void.

“Without generous donations and continued support, none of this would have been possible.

“In Devon we have worked with more young surfers than ever before: 197 young people took the Barnardos short courses before the start of the surf therapy season, and we have run more surf therapy lessons than ever before, with 20 in total in Devon, 10 on each coast!

“The surf clubs have grown steadily with 280 young people in a Devon surf club.

“The Wave Project ran a pilot project called ‘Surf to Work’ for 16 to 24 year olds on universal credit referred by the employment center, with courses offered in Torbay and Barnstaple.

“Wave Rangers has continued to develop and grow this year with over 270 youth joining this year and each having over 25 hours of sessions.


Santa Claus arrives for the Wave Project Santa Surf session

Santa Claus arrives for the Wave Project Santa Surf session
– Credit: Wave Project

“Adaptive surfing – a sit-down surfboard to make surfing accessible to everyone – really took off with 140 sessions, seen over 60 adaptive surfers.

“Wave Project has added to its specialized equipment and, more importantly, has invested in instructors and volunteers.

The residents of Devon won the National Project Wave awards – Frank won the Young Volunteer award, Brendon Prince was the fundraiser of the year for his SUP adventure in Britain and Max was the adaptive surfer of the year.

“It has been an incredible team effort, and we thank everyone involved for helping to change the trend, the ripple effect will continue to have a positive impact for years to come.”

The last surf session of the year is always special – a Santa Surf was held on Bigbury Beach and Croyde as the Wave Project’s final events of the year in Devon.


Preston surfer having fun

Preston surfer having fun
– Credit: Wave Project

Unfortunately, the wind did not allow the Santa SUP to take place in Goodrington.

This year in South Devon, Santa Claus arrived on an adapted surfboard pulled by a team of volunteers, who donned reindeer clothes to make Santa feel at home on the water.

Many of our surfers wore Santa hats and brought Christmas accessories to add to their wetsuits. The volunteers also joined them with party favors.


Surf Santa by Wave Project

Surf Santa by Wave Project
– Credit: Wave Project

As Santa appeared around the estuary, surfers stood by the edge of the parking lot with their parents and families waving and cheering before joining him on the beach as he surfed before everyone left to catch fun waves.

With the pressure on mental health services, Wave Project is looking for more businesses to join. If you would like to help send an email to [email protected]


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