It has been a super exciting May at The Wave Project!

First off, we have got our new course in North Wales underway in partnership with Surf Snowdonia, the world’s first inland wave pool (see pictures). This is one of the projects directly supported by Raise Your Hands members, so we were a bit nervous I have to admit! But the first sessions have been a fantastic success. We recruited an amazing group of volunteers who really embraced the children – both metaphorically and literally. The children who took part loved the wavepool and responded really well to the volunteers. It was clear even from the first session that they grew in confidence. One parent commented:

“Thank you so much to everyone at The Wave Project. [My son] loved his first session – he was talking about it all the way home, something he has never done before with any other activity. It was incredible to see him growing so much after just one session. We can’t wait for next week!”

 It was lovely for us to get such positive feedback straight away. We can’t wait to see how the children’s emotional health has developed by the end of the course – I look forward to reporting back about this next month!

All our other projects are in full swing and going well. Our first course in Scarborough concluded this month and that was also a big success. Fifteen young people with social and emotional challenges completed the course and we hope to run some further surf club sessions for them. There’s a video of their last session on the Wave Project Scarborough Facebook Page to give you a flavour. There’s also a super video of our Dorset project made by some of volunteers on the Dorset Facebook Page – take a look!

Elsewhere, we had an exciting moment this month when we opened our first ever surf shop in Newquay. A lot of hard work has gone into this and it was a brilliant to finally open. Around 100 supporters of The Wave Project came to our opening night on 26 May, and we opened the doors to the public the following day (see pic). The shop is selling as mix of pre-loved surf gear donated by local surfers – wetsuits, boards etc – and our own brand of hoodies and t-shirts. All of the money raised in the shop will help to support our projects around the UK.

Finally on 21 May, we ran a big colourful event to raise awareness of positive mental health, called Paddle Out Loud. Over 100 people took part at events in Dunbar, Brighton, London Docklands, the Isle of Wight and South Devon (see graphic). It was super fun and helped to reinforce our core message that mental health is everyone’s concern, and that people should not be afraid to shout about it!