Ellie's story:

Scarborough teenager Ellie Marston joined the Wave Project in the Spring of 2017.  Ellie, aged 15, had been bullied in her previous school and was suffering from very low self esteem and a lack of confidence. 
On her first session at The Wave Project at Cayton Bay, in Scabrorough, Ellie burst into tears. “I cried when I first arrived,” she said. “I felt so negative about myself. All I thought about life was that you live to die. I just didn’t want to do it.”
But then one of the project’s volunteers started chatting to Ellie, and helped settle her anxieties about the surf lesson. By talking to her and allowing her to go at her own pace, she found the confidence to catch her first wave. Within moments, she had caught the surfing bug.
“I just got into it,” she said. “I understood why I was there, that it was meant to make me feel better, and I just thought I’d give it a go.”
Ellie came back each week and gradually her self-esteem improved each time, thanks to the positive input from the volunteer surf mentors and coaches.
“After doing the Wave Project, my whole outlook on life changed,” she said. “People there were just much more enthusiastic about life. Now I’ve got more confidence about doing stuff and I will give things a go.”
Ellie has moved to a new school and made new friends. “Before I wouldn’t trust people, but now I feel so much better about myself and I’ve made a load of new friends, and they’re all really positive people.”
In the future, Ellie hopes to volunteer for The Wave Project and help to mentor other young people through surf therapy.