The Ripple Effect: How Surf Therapy Inspires Peer Support

For Lewis, the journey with The Wave Project Scotland began with trepidation. Four years ago, he arrived at his first surf therapy session, feeling “very nervous and scared.” It took him a long time to work up the courage to speak to the instructors or even leave the car park.

Fast forward to present day, and Lewis has become an example of how surf therapy can have a profound ripple effect, empowering participants to pay forward the support they’ve received.

During a recent session, a young boy mirrored Lewis’s initial hesitation, refusing to leave his mother’s car due to nerves about entering the water. That’s when the Project Coordinator called on Lewis for help.

“They asked me to speak to the boy,” Lewis recalls. “I told him how I felt on my first day and how much I loved it after being in the water that first night.”

Lewis’s words of reassurance and shared experience struck a chord with the apprehensive newcomer. “A little while later the boy came to the beach and enjoyed his first night just like I did four years ago.”

For Lewis, the experience of guiding a fellow participant through those initial fears was incredibly rewarding. “I really enjoyed helping, showing all the newbies how to stand on the board and safety signals too.”


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