Healing Waves has become an instrumental charity in Jersey, providing a unique service and empowering everyone to experience the wonderment of the water. Set up in July 2017, its the brain child of Dom, Max and Shaun who wanted to create a charity that would provide a free of charge, year-round service enabling individuals with physical, neurological & mental health challenges to experience the ocean in a safe way. Accessed by some 200 athletes per year with varying abilities, Healing Waves has a host of specialist equipment and expertise to ensure any barriers are broken down to make water sports possible for anyone, no matter what their needs are.

The charity is now faced with some fundamental challenges thanks to the COVID crisis; they’re a community-spirited gang who are calling on the community to give them a hand; they need a base to store their specialist equipment and more impressively, they’ve just submitted their application to the local planning department in a bid to create the Channel Islands first adaptive surf centre! Let’s keep our fingers crossed and our eyes peeled for that decision, and how we can get involved to make their dreams come true (their website and social media is updated on the regular, so stay tuned in).

“We intend to involve our athletes in the whole process – from the choosing of their equipment to setting up and the final wash-down at the end of each session. This in turn should increase their well-being and feeling of empowerment by sharing responsibilities whilst becoming more independent.  This centre would ultimately provide us with a safe space to reflect upon each session and socialise over a warm drink, especially during adverse weather in colder months.” – Dom

“If approved this local centre will prove to be a life-enhancing facility to complement a life-enhancing service. We will be including specialist changing rooms as we recognise beachside changing facilities are something that has been much needed on-island for some time now, ensuring that any individual with additional need can have the privacy, comfort and dignity they deserve when changing.  At present, a number of athletes are opting to arrive for sessions in their wetsuit and then leave afterwards still wearing a wet wetsuit.  This is far from ideal, as some who use a wheelchair could potentially damage their wheelchair, or, even worse, develops pressure sores.” – Max

The charity hope to become a chosen beneficiary from the most recent fiscal stimulus fund which will assist in covering the cost of the creation of such a centre, but are also working behind the scenes to fundraise as much as possible. Two of the three founders most recently undertook a 48-hour endurance running challenge raising a whopping £14,000! With a potential requirement of another £300,000 to raise, this is very much the beginning for Healing Waves.

An ocean-themed raffle (with heaps of cool prizes) will be launched in the coming weeks with the draw taking place on Facebook live in mid June.  A full list of prizes that include return flights to Bristol and a high performance longboard will be revealed on their social media channels soon… There’s a second white-collar surf event taking place in May too, sponsored by Le Rossignol Estates; head over to Healing Waves’ Facebook to find out how to enter!