The project on the Isle of Wight began with a pilot scheme in 2015. The success of the trial led to us securing NHS funding to expand the project to employ a coordinator. Since then, the project has grown to run our fully funded surf-therapy courses for 60 new Island children each year, and now has a busy and active surf-club. Funding is a challenge for all charities, but thanks to the generosity of local businesses and funders such as WightAid, we have been able to reach nearly 200 local children to date.
We also have become experts in barbecuing, basting and selling (and eating!) sweetcorn at the IOW Garlic Festival which has been a fantastic and fun fundraiser involving surf coaches, volunteers and surf club children alike.
2018 will see more courses, new and old volunteers, the arrival of adapted equipment (thanks to Island Roads), 10 volunteers fully trained as beach life-guards (thanks to East Wight Landscape Partnership), fund-raising aplenty, a surf-club session with a VERY special guest (shhhh!), and many more smiles and high fives!