Surfers Take To the Sea for South Devon Santa Surf
A special Santa surf took place in South Devon on Saturday with people of all ages taking to the sea with brightly-coloured festive hats. The event was organised by The Wave Project, a charity which helps support children suffering emotional trauma and mental health issues by using surfing as therapy.
The South Devon Santa Surf saw 20 surfers and 25 volunteers and 3 fabulous surf instructors form Discovery Surf School, put on their wetsuits, rash vests and Christmas hats and head into the sea at Bigbury Beach for a cold water surf to end the season.
Katie Smith, South Devon coordinator for The Wave Project, said:
“The Santa Surf is always our last surf of the year. It’s wasn’t too cold for the 1st December, we’ve had a lot of fun catching waves and splashing around in the water. It’s a great way to get lots of our surfers, volunteers and the families together to celebrate the year.
“We have had a lot to celebrate as we tripled the amount of courses in South Devon from 2017. As well as the North and South Devon Projects collectively winning a Devon Sports Award earlier this year for Contribution to Inclusive Sport.”
“As a charity our mission is to work with young people facing various challenges in their lives and our main aim is to improve mental health and wellbeing in young people, simply by using the sea and surfing.
“It’s a super simple concept, we take them to the sea and we have tons of fun. We are blessed by an amazing team of volunteer surf mentors which make this possible. It’s also great for all the families who come down to the beach enjoy watching the sessions.”
“All of us then headed to Bigbury Village Hall, to warm up with food, hot chocolates while watching a Christmas Movie.”
The Wave Project started as a pilot in 2010 funded by the National Health Service in Cornwall. The initial aim was to use volunteers to provide one-to-one surfing lessons for young people with mental health issues as a way of getting them outside, doing physical exercise and feeling more confident about themselves.
The project began to grow and in 2015 Wave Project South Devon started, running from Bigbury, South Devon. With Surf Instructors from the fantastic Discovery Surf School. One to one supported is supplied by our amazing team of volunteer surf mentors, it delivers six courses a year in spring, summer and autumn. A regular surf club runs throughout the year for those who loved the course to keep them surfing.
The Wave Project Community in South Devon Continues to Grow and 2019 will see more surf therapy courses, private sessions and surf clubs.
Have you thought about volunteering? The Wave Project are always looking for volunteers for in the water but also on land, you don’t have to be a surfer.
To find out more about The Wave Project or make a donation please visit our website https://www.waveproject.co.uk/