Community Action Network (CAN) is thrilled to name the amazing The Wave Project Dorset as its Community Hero in the Spotlight for July.

July sees the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games being held in Birmingham and CAN’s Community Hero in the Spotlight wanted to celebrate an organisation who encourage and support the community of Dorset through sport. 

Surfing may not be a Commonwealth Sport (yet) but it was featured in the Tokyo Olympics last year. The Wave Project Dorset surf therapy is used to build resilience, confidence and happiness in children and young people. Utilising the passion and enthusiasm of local volunteers who love the water The Wave Project Dorset provide one to one support to children and young people helping them to learn a new skill or simply have fun in the water.

Tom, the Wave Project Dorset Coordinator, says

"From the sands of Cornwall over ten years ago, to the shorelines of the rest of the UK (and even the concrete of the Bristol wave pool!), the Wave Project and its delivery of surf therapy have changed the lives of thousands of young people. It is the ultimate privilege and joy for our extraordinary volunteers and I to witness the rapid transformation that the sea, social connection and a surfboard can make to the wellbeing of a vulnerable child. We are most grateful to be recognised and celebrated as CAN's Community Hero in The Spotlight for July and hope that this inspires more referrals and more volunteer sign ups so we can continue supporting as many of Dorset's young people as possible."

The Wave Project Dorset helps any child or young person in Dorset to be reminded what it is to be a child, to have fun, play games and meet new friends. To surf and increase awareness of their bodies strength and realise their own courage and determination to catch that epic wave! As well as conquering their fear of water, waves or wetsuits. Learning that they can achieve anything they put their mind to through positivity and praise.

Hannah, a participant of the project shares her experience:

"I loved the Wave Project because the volunteers are so lovely. We had so much fun going in the water: swimming, surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding. It's something to look forward to at the end of the week, it gets you active, gets you out of the house, and socialising with other people."    

Emma Lee, Partnership Manager at CAN said

“The support that Wave provides to children and young people in Dorset is amazing.  It is a wonderful offering really exciting opportunities and I just love that they are encouraging children and young people to get outside down the beach and in the sea! We are so excited to be celebrating their work over the next month.”

You can find more information about the Wave Project Dorset on their website.