Aiming to support those most at risk of social isolation and in need of a confidence boost, a six-week initiative in Norther Ireland hopes to encourage Surf Therapy round the shores of the UK.
Cornwall-based charity Wave Project runs regular Surfing therapy courses across 11 sites. In 2018 they launched a new pilot scheme to help young people aged eight to 18 in Portrush and Benone, Norther Ireland.
A lesser-known, but regonised form of therapy, research suggests that Surf Therapy can improve overall mental health and wellbeing. So far, the charity has trained more than 2,500 people as volunteer surf mentors, with more than 2,200 young people accessing the Surf Therapy courses.
Beth Dinsmore from Wave Project explains why therapy is so effective. "Statistically, its proven to de-stress and calm people. We've known that for autistic children for quite some time, but now research has proven its good for everyone. While there are many types of therapy available for children and teens, some young people find a traditional clinical setting more challenging. Through surf therapy, experts hope to offer a fresh wave of support to those who may otherwise be at risk.