Wave Project UK: Paddle Out for World Mental Health Day - how to get involved in Edinburgh

Wave Project have announced Paddle Out across the UK for World Mental Health Day, including an Edinburgh event

Wave Project UK has announced paddle out events in solidarity with World Mental Health day, including one in Edinburgh.

The non-profit mental health organisation announced the events via instagram, saying: “There’s less than a week to go until we host our annual Paddle Outs for Mental Health across the UK.

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“To mark World Mental Health day on the 10th October we’ll be gathering for our annual paddle out across the country to help raise awareness and promote togetherness in an open environment.”

The organisation has its own branch located in Belhaven, East Lothian, and is run by local Alison Young. The courses take place in Dunbar and the team recently launched in St. Andrews.

When is the paddle out in Edinburgh?

The Edinburgh paddle out is scheduled to take place on World Mental Health Day itself.

To join, go to Portobello Beach in Edinburgh on Monday October 10, at 5:30pm.

Where else are the paddle out’s taking place?

Saturday October 8, 4:14pm - lifeguard hut at Croyde

Monday October 10, 5:30pm - Towan Beach, Newquay

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Sunday October 9, 7:30am - Cullercoats Bay, Tynemouth

Sunday October 9, 2pm - West Sands, St Andrews

Sunday October 9, 8am - South Bay, Scarborough

Monday October 10, 5:30pm - Portobello Beach, Edinburgh

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More information on the paddle outs can be found on the Wave Project website.

What is the Wave Project?

Wave Project is a non-profit organisation that works to provide surf therapy to vulnerable young people.

Wave Project describes the work they do, saying: “We harness the power of the ocean to improve the mental health of children and young people”

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The organisation first started in 2010 with a group of 20 young people sat on the beach at Watergate Bay, Cornwall, for a surfing lesson. They had all been diagnosed with mental health disorders, ranging from mild to severe.

Some participants had been self-harming, others experienced severe anxiety, low mood or depression. One participant was diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, the instructors noticed that when watching the young people on the beach, none of this was visible.

The organisation was formed as a community interest company in January 2011 and has expanded across the UK bringing surf therapy to thousands of young people and offering life changing support through surfing and the sea.

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They are present at 32 beaches and locations across the UK where they run surf therapy programmes.

Speaking to the BBC, NHS health commissioner Joe McEvoy, has reiterated the importance of the work the Wave Project does:

“It’s a long-established body of evidence which shows that when you organise therapeutic activities around particular tasks, people benefit not just from social interaction but also build confidence.”

In the last five years, they have been focusing on creating adaptive surfing courses and opening their very own Adaptive Surfing Hub in Croyde, North Devon, with specialist equipment to deliver safe and enjoyable surf sessions for all abilities.

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