Live to surf, surf to live

A young person surfing in the sea with a support worker behind himTamara, 18, tells us how her confidence has blossomed since getting involved at the Wave Project during her stay at the Regional Eating Disorders Unit. The Wave Project is a National Lottery funded charity that transforms the lives of young people through surfing…

A thread – a thread of hope, a thread of dreams and a thread of reality.

That’s the way I would describe the Wave Project. In dark hours, it was a thread of hope to hold onto. A thread that grew into a strong, safe and reliant rope. To pick yourself up, push yourself and ride an amazing wave takes courage and strength, and help from others. And that’s exactly what the Wave Project gave me – courage, strength and help from amazing people!

Time seemed to slow on the day of my first Wave Project session – that day in hospital seemed even more boring than normal. The hours dragged on until finally it was time to go. I’m happy to say that the wait was worth it, as it was as amazing as I had anticipated. The weeks went on and each session seemed somehow to be even better than the last. I was catching more waves and getting more confident each week.

The project became what my whole week was for – the days a countdown until I could finally surf again! People soon noticed my keen interest and I was invited to a Surf Life Saving course. Thanks to Brian, a volunteer at the Wave Project who took me along in his red VW surf van which meant I could keep up with the sessions.

Surfing has helped me continue to flourish and I’ve made connections that have helped me to achieve what I now have; reliable weekly surf club, friends, confidence, excitement and a hope of moving on in life – living a full happy life.

A man carrying a surf board holding the hand of a young boy and walking across a sandy beach.

The brilliant people that I met through the Wave Project and Surf Life Saving have helped me to grow confident and well enough to get a job! In fact, I start working at STRiVE Adventure this week! The workers there, Sally and Stevie, gave me support to work towards applying for the post and their guidance helped me to get it. Jamie from the Wave Project also helped me far beyond his job description goes, giving advice for my application

The passion and time I’ve been given from so many people is truly amazing. It is unreal how much the project has done for me – this time last year I thought these things were not achievable. From the incredible support, to catching waves and creating great memories and friendships, it’s been amazing!

To find out more about the National Lottery funding opportunities available, visit our website.

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