Surfing England Proud to Recognise and Support Surfwell
Surfwell is the first surf-therapy programme specifically tailored to the emergency services and delivered by emergency services staff. The programme has been trialled by Devon and Cornwall police as an alternative form of therapy to the more traditional options and has been shown through independent academic assessment to help officers and staff struggling with stress, trauma and PTSD and to help them get back to work faster.
Surfwell uses serving officers who have experienced stress and trauma and the impact it can have, they are trained as surf instructors but also in a wide range of mental health training including bespoke training through Dorset MIND and suicide intervention. The instructors work closely with participants over the course of the day through a carefully structured programme which capitalises on the benefits surf-therapy can bring such as cold water immersion, overcoming fear and anxieties and feeling connected to nature.
Due to the successes already seen, the Surfwell programme is now being expanded to encompass all emergency services staff including police, Fire, ambulance and NHS. Sessions are planned to resume in May 2021 when the easing of COVID restrictions allow.
Surfing England are proud to support and recognise the Surfwell project and their programme. As part of working together, we aim to raise awareness of surf-therapy projects, including adaptive surfing programs. Surfwell have recently contributed to our Adaptive Surfing Survey, as we aim to fully understand the current provision of adaptive and surf therapy coaching currently being undertaken in England.
Our future ambitions are for more hubs for adaptive and surf therapy coaching in England and we strive to see huge development in the next 5-10 years. This will form a key part of our strategy, aligning with Sport England, as we aim to make the ocean, wave pools, surfing, and the mental and physical health benefits attributed to the sport accessible to all.
The Surfwell team are keen to hear from any emergency services organisation who wish to explore offering this therapy to their staff, they can be contacted through the website www.surfwell.com
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