Taking to the Waves for Fun and Better Mental Health – Stories from Swiis Foster Care

Young people from Swiis Foster Care took part in an action-packed day of surfing at Tynemouth Beach on 31st July, to try an exciting new sport and improve their mental health.

The group were led by their instructor Si, who is currently a primary school teacher and has over 20 years of surfing experience.

The young people were nervous to start surfing but by the end of the session, their worry had disappeared entirely. The group of young people worked together to come out of their shells, asked for help when needed, and made huge progress throughout the morning.

Swiis Health Advisor Helen Preston said “I think it’s amazing to see the difference in some of the children during the hour and a half, going from being very anxious and self-conscious, to fully immersing themselves in the experience.

Surfboards on the beach
In the water

“Seeing facial expressions of sheer joy when one young person stood up and rode a small wave. Hearing a couple of young people shouting encouragement to each other – whilst trying to stand up or when on the raft looking a bit nervous about jumping off.”

The younger children enjoyed watching their siblings and friends attempt to surf the waves whilst playing with the buckets and spades the Swiis team brought to the beach.

Despite the rain looming, the young people made fantastic progress as they gained more confidence on the surfboards and worked together to build the surfboard raft.

In recent years, surf therapy has become recognised by the NHS in the UK as an effective form of therapy for children and young people who may have experienced trauma or are experiencing difficulties and uncertainties in their lives.

Swiis received some fantastic feedback from the young people and foster carers about their surfing day, here are just some of the lovely things they said:

“Great summer activity even in the rain”

“They talked about it all the way home!”

“I’m buzzing I stood up!”

“I wanna do it again”

In the water

To find out more about becoming a foster carer with Swiis Foster Care, please visit our website or call 0333 577 1234.

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