The Surfable Project has been running for three year (since 2008). During this time over 2000 disabled children and young people have had a surfing experience.
These experiences have been through the school and the children have had a wide range of disabilities including autism, blindness, deafness and many physical disabilities. The eight schools provide good national coverage from Cornwall to Kent and in Wales.
The schools provide a centre/s of training which:
> Is a Surfing GB registered school (or adheres to the guidelines set out in the Surfing GB Surf School registration Scheme).
> Employs coaches trained and experienced in working with disabled people - as a minimum at least one coach has undertaken disabilities awareness training (provided by Surf Relief UK).
> Uses suitable and well maintained equipment, including the use of specialist equipment provided by Surf Relief UK.
Raising funds for this project has become increasingly difficult. With additional funding Surf Relief is unlikely to be able to continue subsidising lessons through its network of surf school beyond 2011. With help from Paddle Around the Pier 2011 this unique and value resource can continue into 2012.
As part of this proposal the charity would like to offer Paddle Around the Pier a taster programme for disabled children at the event. This would involve the charity providing free surfing (water) experiences using coaches from its Surfable network and specialist equipment. This could be done for example through special schools and/or disability sports clubs in the Brighton area. This would provide an interesting and very positive press opportunity for the event - highlighting where funds raised from the event are being used and supporting equality in regards to accessing water sports for the local community.