Groundswell make a splash
Groundswell Scotland is a surf therapy non-profit organisation for trauma recovery. They facilitate programmes designed to improve and develop self-regulation, embodiment practices and healing tools through surfing’s connection to nature, community and self.
Groundswell Scotland is a surf therapy non-profit organisation for trauma recovery. They facilitate programmes designed to improve and develop self-regulation, embodiment practices and healing tools through surfing’s connection to nature, community and self. They provide the opportunity for local women to come together around the ocean with the aim of promoting good health and wellbeing. Surf Therapy is a celebration of local coasts, natural environment, community as well as encouraging more women to experience the joy of surfing and other mindful sports whatever their background or experience.
Groundswell has successfully received one round of substantive grant funding under the Community Grants scheme. The project provided surf therapy for participants from diverse, vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds, who would not normally be able to access this type of support. The project enabled increased educational and conservation awareness of the positive physical and mental benefits of surfing, sport and activity among participants.
(2021) LGBTQ+ Surf Therapy Programme: This programme provides a safe space for individuals to find their healing, power and belonging in nature through surf therapy. Designed to support to self-identifying trans-women and non-binary people who have experienced disproportionate challenges and difficulties as a result of their identity, Surf Therapy at Groundswell provides a safe space. The programme offers tools for sustainable trauma recovery to support holistic and sustainable healing of participants.
With a core focus on wellbeing, experienced members of staff facilitated development that resulted in participants pursuing volunteering, gaining employment, reducing prescribed drugs use, and leading more active and fulfilled lives.
The programme continues to run beyond initial grant funding and has led to partnership with African Caribbean Society Scotland to run a BME inclusive programme. Groundswell continues to seek resources and funding to sustain Surf Therapy; they are currently working with Queen Margaret University to broaden their range of offerings. Groundswell hopes to establish meaningful long-term partnerships and sustainable inclusion within their surf therapy and community programmes.
“There was always a way of making sense of whatever was in my head by the way the sea was, whether it was calmer today and sometimes you need that or realising that you can, the crazy day when the waves are all massive and crashing and smacking in the face and knocking you off the board but that’s okay. And you can maybe find peace out the back or whatever was going on, it could relate to the ocean and sort of answer the questions in my head somehow or another.”
“Life has huge highs and lows which you can learn to accept them, like the waves in the sea, ‘just surf it.’ We get up and we go again. It’s like you can surf and you can learn to deal with it, you know? Dealing with the wipe out and the only way to deal with it, was to relax.”
Groundswell has successfully provided Surf Therapy to participants experiencing disproportionate challenges and difficulties as a result of their identity. The programme has been effective and well received that Groundswell continues to run it beyond initial funding. They are working with additional funders to sustain the project.