Healing Waves was the literal ‘brain wave’ of friends, surfers and support workers in Jersey Channel Islands. After receiving numerous requests from service users dreaming of catching their first wave, we decided to give them the opportunity to do this within a support framework.
Knowing only too well the benefits the ocean holds for us all, Max Wiltshire, Sean Burke and Dominic Booth set out to create the charity now known as Healing Waves. Healing Waves was created so that any individual, despite their condition and/or disability could have the chance for this experience.
Healing Waves enables individuals despite their condition and/or disability both neurological and physical to access the ocean in a safe way to participate in water sport activities. This is so they can experience the therapeutic benefits that the ocean holds for us all.
We offer Ocean Therapy through guided surf, paddle and flow sessions. These water sports are used as a vessel, helping our athletes to gain more self-confidence and communication skills, whilst providing therapy and respite for all. Water sports can stimulate the ‘stoke’ like feeling and can promote a sense of accomplishment and empowerment in our Athletes, whilst families, friends and carers cheer them on from the side lines. We encourage loved ones and carers to participate in sessions, helping to strengthen the (often strained) bonds which are vital for healthy relationships.
Ultimately, it is our aim that our Athletes and their families are treated to a well-deserved day of relaxation, fun and respite. Each session is a valuable and beautiful experience where there are no labels and where all who get involved are Athletes!
We believe it feels good to be in, on, under, or simply around the water. Not only can it reduce our anxieties and stress levels, but it can also help us to find some solace and perspective in our lives. It is continually being proven to ease symptoms and pain, both physically and neurologically, in some of our world’s most vulnerable. The ocean can boost creativity, settle us and help us to reconnect with Mother Nature and those we share it with. We strive to ensure that each of our Athletes has a unique and valuable experience, and leaves feeling not just more relaxed, but also more empowered and confident in their own abilities; in turn improving their quality of life.
A love of the ocean, water sports and a desire to help those in need brought the Healing Waves family together. Every session brings something new and special that cannot be described. The only way to experience this is by being there on the day. The feedback we receive and moments we share keeps us running this service free of charge.
Healing Waves events are held in Jersey, Channel Islands, at both Le Braye and St.Brelade’s beaches. By holding sessions on patrolled lifeguarded beaches and between the flagged areas, we ensure optimum safety for our Athletes. Surf and Paddle sessions take place on days with favorable surf conditions, on days when air and sea temperatures are warmer, although we don’t let the rain stop us! These sessions run throughout May – September. FlowRider sessions are available throughout the winter months at The Merton Aquadome based in St. Saviour. Again, these sessions are lifeguarded and athletes also have access to the swimming pool.
Athletes who experience more ocean therapy will often see additional therapeutic benefits, so we recommend that you encourage your loved ones try to attend multiple sessions. Equally, those who struggle with new experiences and transitional time often find that the more they attend our sessions the more comfortable they become. Many families have remarked that their loved ones show improvement in many areas, especially behavioural, after attending one of our sessions.
Healing Waves prides itself on working in a person centred manner. We have a group of dedicated and experienced volunteers who either work in the care sector, live and breath a lifestyle of water sports, or both! We hand pick each of our volunteers on their capabilities/experience, partnering them to each our Athletes so that they all receive the highest quality experience. Each volunteer is friendly, approachable and passionate about helping others and bettering the lives of anyone accessing our sessions.
We recognise that a lot of our Athletes can struggle with the anxiety around new experiences and transitions. Because of this, each will receive their volunteer profile/s in advance to aid in a more relaxed session. All our volunteers work in using a friendly, low arousal approach to help in keeping anxieties down and enjoyment to the max!
Healing Waves exists largely due to our amazing volunteers/family who share a selfless commitment and dedication to helping those in need and a strong love for the ocean. We are reliant on public donations and sponsors and try to work closely with the local community and businesses to enrol as many in our mission. Please feel free to donate or get in touch to help!
Our aim is to enable individuals despite whatever disability, condition and/or mental health they are living with to participate in a few hours of water sports. Providing each of them the opportunity to have their own unique and valuable experience. From our experiences, being in, under, on, or around the water leaves you calmer with a more focused mind-set, it can give your mind a break from the usual busyness and over stimulation of life and we truly believe it can do the same for any of the athletes who give our service a try.
Healing Waves hopes that by offering such a service each athlete that attends will leave feeling more empowered, relaxed and confident in their own abilities transferring this into their everyday lives.