On the 30th of April, BBC Children in Need announced a funding award to Cornwall based organisation, The Wave Project, for their Prescription Surf programme. The funding comes as part of BBC Children in Need’s new three-year programme focused on children’s mental health, A Million & Me. The new impact programme aims to support children aged 8-13 across the UK through this tricky transition phase in their lives. Organisations funded by the programme like The Wave Project will address emotional wellbeing among children who are beginning to struggle, before mental health problems are established.
BBC Children in Need has dedicated £10m of funding to this programme over three years, to support innovative initiatives that can make a real difference to the emotional wellbeing of children aged 8-13, before emerging challenges require clinical intervention.
In addition to the grants being awarded throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, BBC Children in Need’s Principal Partner, Boots UK, will play an important role in the programme by providing information and support to customers in their stores throughout the UK from 13 May. With access to resources created in collaboration with Young Minds especially for Boots as part of A Million & Me, Boots colleagues will help parents and carers to have positive proactive conversations with children about mental wellbeing, with the aim of having a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of families in their communities.
The three-year grant of £296,940 has been allocated The Wave Project to support the development of a social prescribing model in Devon and Cornwall. Through the three-year allocation, the project aims to deliver evidence-based intervention for children aged 8-13 in the South West and embed the offering in local GP surgeries to enable direct referrals to reach even more children and young people in need of support. The social prescribing model will initially be developed in Devon and Cornwall, with the project aiming to create a model for wider practice across the UK.
Joe Taylor, CEO and Founder of The Wave Project, commented on the award, saying: “Through the power of surf, we have quite literally seen young lives transform. Evidence continues to grow that getting in the sea, surfing and having fun with friends in the water makes a measurable difference to young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and this funding really will allow us to make an impact on even more young lives in need of support. Thank you BBC Children in Need.”
Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “A Million & Me is the first in a series of impact programmes we are developing to address some of the most pressing issues affecting the UK’s children and young people today. A Million & Me recognises that early conversations are an important part of supporting children and young people with their emotional wellbeing and by bringing together a number of committed partners like The Wave Project, who will deliver a range of innovative and evidence-based projects supporting children’s wellbeing right across the UK, we can make a real and lasting difference to children and young people’s mental health.”
Paddy Sloan, Project Director for A Million & Me, said: “We have worked closely with a number of experts to develop this programme which aims to support children aged 8-13 with their emotional wellbeing, before mental health problems develop. Our aim is to put children at the centre of a system of support in their homes and communities, so that they can feel confident to access help how, when and where they want it. We are delighted to be working with partners like The Wave Project who share our ambition to increase the numbers of children experiencing good mental health, encouraging empathy and resilience at home, among friends and in local communities.”