Contributing to the community and generating social benefits are central to the vision as we open up the power of surfing to more people.
The Wave Project, UK
We are incredibly passionate about the healing powers of surfing and ‘blue therapy’, particularly on vulnerable young people.
It is one of the main reasons why we have ensured that we have a dedicated Learning Hive within the masterplan, from where we (and selected partners) will run a full-time schedule of courses to support local kids via surf therapy and educational intervention programmes. Our aim is to help enhance and protect their mental health at an inflection point in time where it has perhaps never been more important.
A recent article in the New York Times referred to it as a ‘National Emergency’ in the US. The same, we believe, is true here in the UK. Recently, a Guardian article shone the light on how NHS mental health trusts are beginning to prescribe surfing to young people as part of addressing mental health challenges. Evidence is compelling with recent reports from the FT, Guardian, Independent, Times, TES and Children in Need, to name a few.
We don’t just believe that The Seahive can create hugely positive outcomes for children who struggle with anxiety, confidence, social exclusion, depression, bereavement, suicidal thoughts and a whole host of other mental health-related challenges. We know it.
Mental health is at a tipping point with 75% of children and young people who experience it unable to get the help that they need. With mental health worsening at a worryingly fast rate in a post-Covid world and NHS capacity at breaking point, we simply have to find alternative solutions to equip young people with the tools, mindset and safe spaces to overcome it.
Our surf-related therapy programmes will support many who are otherwise at serious risk. There will be no commercial gain from providing spaces, facilities and equipment to run these courses with our charity partners. We do it because it matters to us.
Here's a look at our Learning Hive, which will be the base for charitable foundations to operate courses from.
Accessibility, authenticity and inclusivity are key components of our scheme and value system.
The Seahive will be able to be used by people of all ages, abilities and disabilities with dedicated ramps and changing rooms, fully-accredited adaptive surf coaches and specialist equipment including seated boards, prone boards with handles, beach wheelchairs and specifically tailored wetsuits with zips in the arms and legs to make changing easier.
In other wave pools around the world, there have been many adaptive surfers who have experienced the thrill of the ride and its associated therapeutic benefits.
Wavegarden HQ, KindSurf
The power of surfing is extraordinary and via controlled conditions and close supervision, it will mean that everyone is physically able to get in the waves and share the stoke - whether you struggle with dyspraxia, cerebral palsy or are completely blind.
Wavegarden HQ, KindSurf
We’re all equal and we can all enjoy the waves together.
Community and school programmes
At the heart of our accessibility plans are putting aside specific wave times for local school children, college and university students. This will be in the form of heavily discounted and free sessions so that children and young adults can access the health and wellbeing benefits of learning to surf and the surrounding resort facilities.
We intend to run holiday camps under the “Holiday Activities and Food Programme” government scheme, providing opportunities to local underprivileged children to access organised out-of-school activities and who may often experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of physical health.
We will also team up with the F51 team in Folkestone to combine surf and skate programmes and competitions, plan to offer apprenticeship opportunities via partnerships with Kent-based universities and colleges, and will run educational intervention programmes designed to encourage local disadvantaged kids to re-engage with school through increased confidence and self-belief.
In addition, alongside expert partners, we will run ocean safety courses, teaching young people how to handle situations in the sea including learning about rip currents, tides and generally developing greater awareness, knowledge and calmness around water.
All of which could save lives in the future, especially for young children who may not have learned to swim let alone be confident on a surfboard.