The Wave Project

The Wave Project

At a glance


  • Mental health

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


Poor mental health impacts every area of a child’s life, the relationships they build, their academic performance and their physical health. So, our NHS-recognised therapies deliver a real difference to children who need them. We work with young people aged 8-18 experiencing poor mental health. 

How do we do it?

We combine the therapeutic elements of the ocean with the adventure of surfing and a supportive culture of acceptance to help children do things they never thought possible.

That’s why the young people we work with enjoy:

  • Higher self-esteem
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Better trust and friendships
  • More positive futures


Six-week surf therapy course

When young people are referred to us, they are usually quite anxious. Our six-week introduction to surfing helps them to overcome their worries about the water and feel more confident about taking on different challenges.

As well as learning to surf, participants are also supported by their own personal surf mentor, who encourages them in their surfing journey and helps build their confidence and resilience in the waves.

We also allow each surfer to work at their own pace and set their own challenges each week with a little encouragement from the group. By week six our young surfers are often much more confident and ready to take on other challenges in their lives.

Surfing is for everyone.

We know that some people with physical disabilities simply want to try surfing as an experience rather than doing a course.

With this in mind, we have introduced our Adaptive Surfing programme for people with disabilities.

Adaptive Surfing is delivered by specially trained surf coaches supported by our wonderful trained volunteers.

Sessions are booked individually because each person has different needs and may require different levels of support. Our goal is to make the surfing experience as authentic as possible for each participant, removing any barriers that prevent them from accessing surfing.

Impact and evaluation has been embedded in The Wave Project since day one. All our programmes evaluate wellbeing change from a participant and whole-group perspective. Every young person who has ever taken part in one of our programmes has completed a questionnaire before and after their course to tell us how it affected them. These client questionnaires use validated items to ensure they are accurate and robust. We also work with parents and referral partners to get their perspectives on change

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