Our beneficiaries are being invited to join a project that uses surfing to promote good mental health for a taster day at the end of September.

Project Surfwell is a surf therapy initiative run by Devon and Cornwall Police. Later this month they will be running taster days for other emergency service personnel and have invited some of our beneficiaries to join them

There are four dates available to visit Cornwall’s famous surf spot, Fistral Beach: Monday 28, Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 September and Tuesday 6 October. You’ll spend the day learning to surf, supported by your peers and under the watchful eye of their qualified instructors.

Upon your arrival you will be warmly welcomed and allocated a personal instructor who will look after and lead you through the day. There will be an informal group introduction followed by a simple yoga and mindfulness based warm up.

Next you will receive a safety brief and land-based instruction before heading into the water. Following your surf lesson there will be a discussion around the high and low points based upon your surfing experience before an optional group chat.

All surf days now also include a beach litter pick, so you can go home safe in the knowledge you also did your bit for the environment.

Surfwell understand that participants are individuals who have a range of concerns about the day whether that be meeting a group of new people, the fact they can’t swim, are body conscious, feel unfit …the important thing is the day is your day, you will not be made to do or say anything you do not want to do. Surfwell will do they we can to remove any barrier that you identify to enable you to get the most from your time and experience with them.

With an emphasis on self-management through coping strategies, the project aims to reduce stress, improve overall wellbeing, encourage early recovery and better mental health.

Led by a team of police officers and staff, Surfwell are no strangers to the pressures of working in the emergency services on people’s mental health. And now members of the UK’s fire community are invited to join them.

Participants of the sessions describe feeling changes to their emotions after time spent on the water, with initial anxieties or uncertainties transforming into happiness, relaxation and a sense of pride in their achievements.

Some people described the sessions as having felt like ‘hitting the reset’ button, helping them to feel less overwhelmed about upcoming stresses, while others said how valuable they found having achieved something. And nearly all participants described the sensation of feeling re-energised from the physical exertion.

If you’d like to try a taster session with Surfwell to see if it can help improve your mental health, get in touch with us and we’ll put you in contact with them. You can register your interest with Physical Services Lead Nicky Patton by emailing her on npatton@firefighterscharity.org.uk.

Happy surfing!