A pioneering mental health surf project for young people, the Wave Project, is in line for a national award and is calling upon local residents to help them achieve this prestigious recognition.
Originally starting in Cornwall, the Wave Project came to Dorset in 2013 with support from Dorset HealthCare, which funded a successful pilot scheme. The pilot worked with 20 young people facing mental health difficulties, and provided surfing lessons as a way to help individuals improve their confidence and self esteem. The initial results were found to be hugely successful, with group members achieving greater confidence and motivation, as well as learning a complex skill and keeping active. As a result, the Wave Project was later awarded funding by the National Lottery in 2014.
In recognition of the project’s brilliant efforts to help transform the lives of young people with varying degrees of physical or mental disabilities, the Wave Project has been chosen as a finalist for the annual National Lottery Awards within the sports category.
The awards, which are now in their 12th year, recognise the incredible difference that Lottery funded projects have made to people, places and communities across the UK. The awards will be announced in August and the winners will be invited to appear on national television and take home a £2,000 cash prize for their project.
Zoe Carter, child mental health nurse at Dorset HealthCare and Wave Project coordinator, said: “There is a strong and well recognised correlation between physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing, and with the beautiful coastlines of Dorset and Cornwall, this is the ideal initiative to help young people who are displaying the early signs of mental health problems.”
Zoe added: “It is fantastic to make it to the National Lottery Award finals and winning the award would help give even more exposure to the Wave Project and, ultimately, allow more young people get involved in surfing. If anyone can take the time to vote so we can ensure that we can continue to provide this fantastic resource for young people living in Dorset it would be hugely appreciated.”
To vote for the Wave Project visit the National Lottery website www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/project/wave-project. Lines are open until 29 July