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How a young people’s surf charity helped Skyler turn the tide on anxiety and depression

10 year old Skyler’s Grandad was his best mate and tower of strength. Someone he could always turn to when his dad was too ill to play with him, or even get out of bed.
Skyler

But when his Grandad died, Skyler’s world collapsed around him. From having non-stop energy and being always on the go, he became withdrawn and anxious.

“When Steve wasn’t well, it was almost like my dad solved all of Skyler’s problems,” says mum, Tracey. “He lost the one person he could call on and from that point on, it was just too much.”

Worse still, seeing his dad admitted to hospital with heart problems, Skyler became fearful he would lose him as well.
“He was struggling’” admits Tracey.

Skyler
Skyler
Finding hope out on the water

It was only when their GP suggested Skyler try out The Wave Project that the family began to see a glimmer of hope.  

The Wave Project is a young people’s surf charity that harnesses the power of the sea to overcome depression, anxiety and other mental challenges 

Surfing is an ideal way for children and young adults to grow their confidence and resilience. Qualities they can carry over into other areas of their life to help them cope with the challenges they face.  

With the Wave Project’s help, the old Skyler started to come back, talking about the tricks he had learned and how he feels about his life more generally.  

For Tracey, it was the turning point. “It was great to see a bit of hope in his eyes. Just seeing him happy again, I couldn’t ask for anything more to be honest.” 

And for Skyler himself it’s meant not just learning to ride the waves but turning his thoughts onto a new, positive path.  

He’ll always miss his grandad, of course. But every time he takes to his board, he’ll be reminded how the memories they made together can be the wave that carries him forward in life.  

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