Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay, has nominated The Wave Project: the world’s first surf-therapy course, based in Cornwall, to receive £1,000 donated by the trade body bacta, which represents seaside arcades, piers and related attractions.
He says, “The Wave Project is a fantastic local charity that has transformed the lives of so many young people locally through its unique combination of therapy through surfing. I support their work and thank bacta for their kind donation to help them continue it through these difficult times.”
Bacta launched its Siding With the Seaside (#sidingwiththeseaside) campaign last year in order to support the seaside communities served by their members and to highlight the lack of government investment that threatens the precious heritage in many seaside towns.
Bacta CEO John White says, “The situation was already serious for many seaside towns whose communities have suffered through lack of employment and local investment. However, when we went into lockdown just before the Easter holidays, the position became far more serious as local businesses were forced to shut and the seasonal trade, which is so vital, was lost. Our members made a total of £23,000 available to give to seaside charities via the MPs who we have got to know through our seaside campaigning work and who are best placed to know who would benefit most.”
Joe Taylor, founder and CEO of The Wave Project, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Bacta for their generous donation to The Wave Project. The funds will pay for 100 new changing robes to enable our participants to get changed outside on the beach while restrictions remain in place on using changing rooms. This will mean more children are able to access our award-winning surf therapy programme comfortably and safely.”
The Wave Project was founded in September 2010, when a group of 20 young people sat on the beach at Watergate Bay, Cornwall, for a surfing lesson. They had all been diagnosed with mental health disorders, ranging from mild to severe. Wellbeing rose among the group overall, with participants feeling calmer, less angry and more connected to each other, after surfing. Young people experiencing anxiety grew in confidence. Following on from these humble beginnings, The Wave Project was formed as a community interest company in January 2011.
Bacta represents the owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades, over-18 amusement centres, and the companies that hire machines to pubs, clubs, bowling alleys, bingo halls and similar venues. It also represents the manufacturers and distributors of all types of amusement equipment. This can range from children’s rides, to jukeboxes, fruit machines in pubs and clubs, crane grabbers, penny falls, tuppeny nudgers, test your strength machines, videos, pool tables and gaming machines