Laureus Secures ‘City To Sea’ Funding Boost For The Wave Project

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July 26, 2018 – The mental health and wellbeing of hundreds of young people from London, Brighton and Cornwall will benefit from a funding boost Laureus and The Wave Project have received through the Spirit of 2012 Challenge Funds for the next three years.

The City to Sea fund was set up for programmes which provide access to sport and physical activity to new and under-served groups and communities, while also challenging perceptions around disability.

The Wave Project is a Laureus Sport for Good grantee, which uses the sport of surfing on the coastlines of the UK to increase confidence and reduce anxiety in young people who have been diagnosed with mental health issues.

The programme takes referrals from support workers, teachers, doctors, counsellors and, through a one-on-one approach, young people are introduced to the sport of surfing. Young people work at their own pace to overcome challenges and develop a sense of pride in their achievements. There is no pressure to succeed, and instructors and surf mentors work to create an atmosphere of support and positivity.



With the support of Spirit of 2012, Laureus and The Wave Project will be able to expand the reach of the surf therapy interventions to bring isolated and vulnerable young people from inner-city London to locations such as Brighton to experience surfing and enhance their mental health and wellbeing through surf therapy. This support builds on a pilot scheme in London, which was delivered in partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust in 2014.

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established by the Big Lottery Fund with a £47m endowment from the National Lottery. Spirit was founded to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness that people experienced during the London 2012 Games. The organisation funds projects that bring people together – to learn something new, do something different, or experience something unique – and that leave behind a social legacy of increased wellbeing at an individual level, as well as happier and more connected communities.

Working with over 150 programmes worldwide, Laureus Sport for Good uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world. One of Sport for Good’s six key focus areas is to use the power of sport to enhance mental wellbeing and encourage healthy behaviour change among young people around the world.

Laureus Ambassador and Olympic cycling star Victoria Pendleton, said: “I am hugely proud of and passionate about the work Laureus Sport for Good is doing to support disadvantaged and under-served young people. Having spent time with The Wave Project in Brighton today, and seeing first-hand the calming, confidence-building nature of the surf therapy approach, I’m excited to see the progress which will be made over the next three years. Mental health and wellbeing is something I’m passionate about and this funding will help more young people build confidence and deal with their anxieties, which is a wonderful thing.

Laureus Ambassador and Rugby World Cup winning rugby player Nolli Waterman, said: “Spending time with the young people in Brighton today really proved sport’s ability to break down barriers and instil confidence. Mental health and wellbeing is something I have spoken about in my personal sporting career, and it is inspiring to see the work Laureus-supported programmes like The Wave Project are doing in this space. From what I’ve seen today, this funding boost will truly help Laureus and The Wave Project change the lives of young people for the better.”  




Susie Rodgers
, Spirit of 2012 Trustee, said: “As a former Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist who grew up swimming in the sea, I know first-hand the benefits of being in the water for mental health and happiness. I’m really proud that Spirit of 2012 is funding this inclusive project that will make such a difference to disadvantaged young people in London and Cornwall. I can’t wait to see how City to Sea develops and how the young people and volunteers work together in the wonderful environment of the British seaside.

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive, Spirit of 2012, said: “We’re really excited about the potential of City to Sea to change lives, offering ‘surf therapy’ to young people who might never otherwise get to experience the sea in this way. The project will help them build confidence and build new networks, and will also teach them to love the water - benefits that we hope will last them a lifetime.

Joe Taylor, Founder and CEO at The Wave Project, said: “We’re hugely grateful to Laureus and Spirit of 2012 for supporting this exciting project. Until now, The Wave Project has primarily supported young people in coastal communities, this is the first time that significant funding has been allocated to helping inner-city children access surf therapy. It’s wonderful that City to Sea will also be supporting disadvantaged young people in Cornwall, and we hope that all the participants can support each other and learn from each other.