Wave Project– Announcement from St Mary’s hospital

Press Release

4th February 2016

Wave Project will help children at risk of isolation on the Isle of Wight

NHS Trust Charitable funds support project on Island

An innovative surfing project is being expanded on the Isle of Wight following confirmation of support from the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Charitable Funds.  The Wave Project will deliver its award-winning peer-led surfing courses, plus a weekly surf club, to help groups of young people, who are referred by services such as the child and adolescent mental health service, social services and mental health charities, feel more confident, improve their outlook and give them a sense of fun.

The funding – totalling £16,959 – will be used to employ a Wave Project Co-ordinator and cover running costs of sessions on the Isle of Wight. Sessions will also be supported with the help of local volunteers.  The initiative demonstrates how the voluntary and statutory sectors can work together in line with the principles of the My Life a Full Life programme.

Joe Taylor, Chief Executive of the Cornwall based Wave Project says: “We’re really excited to be working with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust on this project. Thanks to the support of local volunteers, the Wave Project has been running on the Island since 2014, but this new funding will enable us to reach lots more children at risk of isolation.

“Our courses have won NHS awards here on the Island, and previous evaluation has shown that going surfing once a week in a supportive environment helps children feel more confident, improves their outlook and gives them a sense of fun.”  

The Wave Project began in 2010, when the local NHS Trust in Cornwall funded a six-week pilot scheme to examine the benefits of surfing on the emotional health of young people working with professional services. The pilot project used evidence-based psychological evaluation tools to assess whether six weeks of surfing helped the group, who were referred by a range of services such as children & adolescent mental health, (CAMHS), social services and mental health charities.  Encouraged by the results, The Wave Project was established as a charity. Further funding was obtained, initially from BBC Children In Need and later from the Big Lottery Fund and other funders, and the project began to grow.

Joe continues: “Since the original pilot, the Wave Project has developed an award-winning intervention that uses the local surfers to help young people reduce anxiety and improve their emotional health. New projects have been set up all over the UK, including in Wales, Scotland and even inner-city London!”

The Project Co-ordinator’s post has been advertised in the Isle of Wight County Press and in social media.   You can find out more about the role at www.waveproject.co.uk/jobs.

Dr Nina Moorman, Non-Executive Director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Chair of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Charitable Fund Committee says: “As a former GP I saw many young people come through my practice with difficulties.  In many cases I am sure that something like the Wave project would have helped them.   The Trust’s Charitable Fund was in the fortunate position of having received a bequest which enabled the Fund to support this innovative project.”

Rob Jubb who works in the Island’s mental health service and is a keen surfer says: “Our initial pilot scheme on the Isle of Wight was a great success and this was recognised in the 2015 Isle of Wight NHS Trust Awards.   I am so pleased that the development of the project has been supported so that we can take the next step forward.”

You can find out more about Isle of Wight involvement in the Wave Project at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfah4LW8cuE prepared for the January 2015 Trust Awards event and at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGZ9UBvY3_E prepared for the July 2015 Trust AGM.

Chris Mannion, from iSurf on the Isle of Wight says: “I was pleased to support the pilot project in 2014 and this funding will enable us to expand the programme and provide many more opportunities to young people.  There is no doubt that participating in surfing can improve the outlook of young people at difficult times in their lives.”

More information about the Wave Project can be found on their website at http://www.waveproject.co.uk/about/.   More information about the Isle of Wight Charitable Trust can be found at http://www.iow.nhs.uk/getting-involved/donations-and-fundraising/new_page_3.htm

The majority of services provided by Isle of Wight NHS Trust are commissioned and funded by Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England and Isle of Wight Council.