Awards and Santa Surfs What we've been up to this month: Celebrating our Young People The Wave Project’s annual awards night took place at The Headland Hotel on the 24th of November. The evening celebrated the incredible achievements of the young people, surf schools, coaches and volunteers who have worked alongside us in the past year. Guests and nominees were joined by former Olympic track cycling champion Victoria Pendleton CBE and Winter Olympic snowboarder, Jenny Jones. On the night, eight awards were presented to 24 nominees from all over the country. They were chosen from over 2,000 participants, volunteers and surf coaches who have worked with the charity over the past year. George Palmer, 11 from North Devon won the Adaptive Surfer of the year Award for his positivity and courage in taking up surfing with such enthusiasm, despite his Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy. When asked what his favourite bit about surfing was, a confident response of ‘wipe outs!’ was met with applause. George surfs in a specially adapted board with a chair to ensure he can catch the most waves. Elsy Williams, age 11 from Berkshire (photo below), won the prestigious courage award in recognition of her determination to surf despite having an acute Auto Immune Disorder. Elsy has severe and life-threatening allergies that could result in a traumatic and potentially life-threatening reaction at any time. Elsy is one of over 1,000 young people that The Wave Project has worked with this year and will continue to support next year through surf therapy. Her mother Lisa Miles said: “Taking part in the Wave Project has transformed Elsy’s life. Elsy hates being different. At home and at school she has to wear gloves and be so careful with her allergies, - but put her on the beach and she transforms into a herself, her anxieties melt away and she can just be herself. The Wave Project have given her a safe space to be herself, and that’s invaluable.” Santa Surfs and Christmas Parties These amazing photographs speak for themselves! We held a number of Santa Surfs around the country in various locations. This year we held our first Santa Surf in Northern Ireland which was a great success. In Cornwall, our surf clubs met together at Rick Stein’s for a special Christmas Party. This was such a fun and special way for our young people and volunteers to finish a truly inspirational year! Thank you for your kind support. We are so grateful.