The Wave Project expands to Dorset
The Wave Project in Dorset started with a flourish this weekend when pro surfer Hannah Harding launcheda pilot course in Bournemouth.
Twenty young people took part in a free surfing session run by instructors from Surf Steps surf school, supported by Animal team rider Hannah and a group of local volunteers.
It was the start of a six-week surfing and peer-mentoring course pioneered by The Wave Project in Cornwall, funded by Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust and the Cooperative Group.
The aim of the project is to help young people to improve their self-confidence and wellbeing. Clients were referred by mental health and social services across Dorset.
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Former English national surf champion and model Hannah Harding, who is a team rider for surf brand Animal, said: “It was an amazing start to a fantastic project. All the young people who took part seemed really inspired to be in the sea and to take part.
“I am really stoked to be part of such a worthwhile project. It was a real honour to meet all the young people who took part.”
Wave Project chief executive Joe Taylor added: “I’m delighted the launch of this project has gone so well and that the young people really responded to the surfing.
“The hope is that over the next six weeks, they will feel empowered to push their boundaries and benefit from the improved confidence and self-esteem that comes with that.”
The pilot project will be evaluated in November and it is hoped that it will lead to an established service in Dorset.