The Wave Project have announced that they have been chosen for a BBC Children in Need funding award focused on children’s mental health.

The three-year grant of £296,940 will go towards their Prescription Surf programme, which aims to develop a social prescribing model in Cornwall and Devon. Through the three-year allocation, the project aims to deliver evidence-based intervention for children aged 8-13 in the South West and embed the offering in local GP surgeries to enable direct referrals to reach even more children and young people in need of support.  The social prescribing model will initially be developed in Devon and Cornwall, with the project aiming to create a model for wider practice across the UK.

The funding comes as part of BBC Children in Need’s new three-year programme focused on children’s mental health, A Million & Me.  The new impact programme aims to support children aged 8-13 across the UK through this tricky transition phase in their lives. Organisations funded by the programme like The Wave Project will address emotional wellbeing among children who are beginning to struggle, before mental health problems are established.

BBC Children in Need has dedicated £10m of funding to this programme over three years, to support innovative initiatives that can make a real difference to the emotional wellbeing of children aged 8-13, before emerging  challenges  require clinical intervention.

In addition to the grants being awarded throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, BBC Children in Need’s Principal Partner, Boots UK, will play an important role in the programme by providing information and support to customers in their stores throughout the UK from 13 May. With access to resources created in collaboration with Young Minds especially for Boots as part of A Million & Me, Boots colleagues will help parents and carers to have positive proactive conversations with children about mental wellbeing, with the aim of having a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of families in their communities.

Joe Taylor, CEO and Founder of The Wave Project, commented on the award, saying:

“Through the power of surf, we have quite literally seen young lives transform. Evidence continues to grow that getting in the sea, surfing and having fun with friends in the water makes a measurable difference to young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and this funding really will allow us to make an impact on even more young lives in need of support.  Thank you BBC Children in Need.”


A mother, whose son attends the Wave Project sessions praised the charity:

“The Wave Project has totally inspired my son. It has the right balance of challenge, excitement, relaxation, being part of a group. It also helps with his confidence, mood and sensory difficulties. It ticks all the boxes really. Plus we parents get a bit of a rest, can chat to other parents and have a cup of tea on the beach! He always says being in the sea is where he feels happiest and where his worries all go away…”


Find out more about the Wave Project on their website.