Well, the weather has been pretty dire, but spirits are still soaring here at the Wave Project.

To explain why, here is a case study from our Brighton project –  one of those benefitting from RYH support.

Charlie, aged 11, was referred to the project due to serious anxiety issues. He suffers from epilepsy, and was worrying about moving to secondary school. His sleep was affected at night, and he before he went on our surf course, he was refusing to do any physical activities.

On his first session, Charlie refused to lift his head from under his hood and refused to talk to any of the other participants or volunteers. After about an hour, he was gently persuaded to go onto the beach to watch the surfing session. After a while his mum approached and asked if he could just try a wetsuit on in case he changed his mind. Once this barrier was overcome, Charlie asked if he could go in the water. As he'd missed the induction with the other clients, he had a 1:1 session with one of the lifeguards for the last 20 minutes.

A couple of days later, a letter arrive from Charlie’s mum. It said, “I just wanted to pass on what an amazing experience it was for Charlie and myself on Sunday. He is still smiling, feeling very proud and looking forward to the next session.”

From then on, Charlie was the first to arrive and the last to leave at every session. He has built up friendships with two other young people in the group. At the end of his six week course, we received this note from his mum:

"Charlie… is really loving is time with you all. He has already informed us he wants a wetsuit and a board for his birthday. We explained he can join the surf club to use our equipment to which he responded - "can we go and ask my mum now?"

It’s stories like this that keep us smiling here. What a privilege to work with so many inspiring young people and volunteers!

Elsewhere, we completed our North Wales project in partnership with Surf Snowdonia, which helped 12 very socially isolated young people to develop new friendships and to discover the fun of surfing. The project, also supported by RYH, is currently being fully evaluated with pre and post questionnaires from all the participants, and we look forward to updating you with the results next month.

In Cornwall, we are looking forward to our annual inclusive surfing event – the Summer Surf Challenge, where we run free surf taster sessions at the beach all weekend for disabled children and adults. This is so much fun! Please feel free to join us – the event is free and takes place on 16-17 July at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. Hope some of you can make it!

Finally, we had a fun day this month doing product shots with two of our surf ambassadors – pro surfers Hannah Harding and Lucie Donlan – and some of our surf club members from Cornwall. They make awesome models, don’t you think?