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Community benefit fund grant will help save lives

Belhaven Surf Club

A charity which uses surfing and the sea as therapy to help young people, has benefitted from a grant from the community benefit funds linked to Aikengall Community Wind Farms.

The Wave Project, which is based at Belhaven Surf Club, applied for a grant of £1,818 to improve lines of communication and ensure it has measures in place to maintain adequate cleaning of kit and equipment that adheres to Covid-19 guidelines.

The charity, which ran the world’s first ‘surf therapy’ course in 2011, will use some of the grant to purchase new two-way radios.

They will be used by volunteers as they work in small bubbles along the beach, to stay connected with each other and also to communicate with the Coastguard and RNLI.

The Wave Project will also use the funding to purchase additional equipment to increase the number of courses it provides, following a huge increase in interest since Covid-19.

The interest is being put down to increased mental health issues among the general population, meaning Belhaven Beach and Belhaven Surf Club, which was built with the help of £10,000 of funding from Community Windpower and BeGreen in 2019, has become very popular for both adults and children, wanting to enjoy time at the beach, in the sea and outdoors.

Among the equipment being purchased are rash vets, first aid supplies, CPR face shields, wetsuit and kit cleaners, all of which will help increase the number of courses and help reduce the current long waiting list.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, said: “Belhaven Surf Club is a fantastic asset to the local community, even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic, and The Wave Project charity provides amazing support to people to help change lives through surfing and surf therapy.

“With Covid-19 meaning more people are enjoying Belhaven beach and the amazing activities available, we want to continue supporting the area as we have done since 2009, and quickly granted this application for funding.

The Wave Project’s surf therapy program is providing vital support to people, in particular children, to help manage any mental health issues emerging due to the recent and ongoing lockdowns.”

Community Windpower is also running a joint Covid-19 crisis fund with BeGreen for people and organisations currently suffering due to the pandemic.

For more information please contact Cathleen Anderson at the BeGreen shop in Dunbar by calling 01368 863720 or emailing begreen@communitywindpower.co.uk.

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