Dorset

Dorset surf therapy project funding boost

Eight-year-old Alfie surfing in Bournemouth Image copyright Jessie Stewart
Image caption The project for young people aged eight to 21, combines surfing with mentoring

A Dorset project which uses surfing as a therapy to help young people with issues such as low confidence and anxiety, has received more than £190K.

The funding will ensure the Wave Project can continue for at least another three years.

The Big Lottery Fund has committed £138,994 and Dorset HealthCare is providing £17,150 per year to fund a project manager.

The scheme for young people aged eight to 21, combines surfing with mentoring.

Chief executive Joe Taylor said the funding was "an important sign that interventions such as surfing are being taken seriously as innovative ways of improving mental health".

He added the therapy helped young people "overcome core problems such as low confidence, poor self-esteem and anxiety".

Zoe Carter, child mental health nurse and Wave Project coordinator at Dorset HealthCare, added: "By tackling such issues at the early stages, we can help to prevent greater problems arising in the future."

The Wave Project, a not-for-profit company which was set up in 2010, has run a series of similar schemes in Cornwall and Devon.

It is said to be the first time the NHS has funded surfing as an ongoing mental health intervention in the UK.

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