Surf Solace
Children In Sea With Arms Linked

Improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing through sea-based activities

Our cause

Surf Solace is an organisation that provides sea-based activities to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing in the local communities of Adur and Worthing in West Sussex

Founded in 2018 by a passionate and experienced group of volunteers, we act as a resource for young people living in the local area by providing sea-based physical and educational activities.

Through our activities, we help the young people we work with by:

Improving mental health
By teaching them resilience and providing respite from day to day life as part of a local beach community
Advancing education
Developing life skills
Helping them advance in life by developing their skills and capabilities — enabling them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals
Providing recreational and leisure opportunities
Improving the conditions of their lives by providing recreational and leisure time activity in the interests of social welfare

1 in 10 young people aged from 5 to 15 suffer from a mental health problem

— Mental Health Foundation (2013)

The programme

Surf Solace will offer an initial six-week pilot sea-based activity course for up to 20 children and young people aged 13-15, who are at risk of social exclusion or mental health difficulties.

Clients will be referred to the project initially through Robert Woodward Academy, Lancing West Sussex.

Sessions will be delivered with 1:1 support from volunteers, using methods developed by other national projects which have proved very effective at improving health and well-being outcomes for vulnerable young people.

It also encourages them to take pride in and become more involved in their local community and shared spaces.

Why is it needed?

Factors that can influence the occurrence of mental health problems in young people are particularly apparent in this community. The Local Authority produced report Adur and Worthing Community Profile 2014 shows Adur to be the most deprived local authority area in West Sussex.

Anti-social behaviour is the most common crime and Adur also has the highest percentage of 16+ year-olds with no qualifications in West Sussex; over a quarter of the 16+ population.

It is our intention that this initial course will act as a springboard for continued, widened Adur and Worthing District community benefit; encouraging participants to take pride in and become more involved with their local community and shared spaces.

Seabirds will look to help develop and fund the Surf Solace project so it can increase the number and variety of courses offered over the year.

This will enable Surf Solace to directly target the promotion of positive mental and emotional health, prevention of first episodes of mental ill health as well as prevention of relapse.

50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24

— World Health Organisation (2003)

Get involved

Surf Solace wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers who run it, so if you’re interested in joining the team and getting involved yourself, there are many ways you can help.

Our sea-based sessions will be starting soon but even if you don’t want to get wet, or have no previous volunteering experience, we still need your support.

Join us on Facebook and get updates on volunteering opportunities and other Surf Solace news.