Charity seeks funding to build disability surf centre

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Healing Waves, an organisation that provides safe access to the sea for disabled Islanders through a variety of adapted water sports, are hoping to build a surf centre at Le Braye car park.

The hub would give the charity a permanent base that would be used to house their equipment and provide members with changing facilities, which would also be made accessible to the public.

The designs, which have been submitted by Nick Socrates, of Socrates Architects, also include a sedum roof, featuring a layer of vegetation that is designed to make the building fit in with the surrounding landscape – the Coastal National Park.

Dominic Booth, co-founder of the charity, which won the JEP’s Pride of Jersey Community Champion of the Year Award in 2018, said that the plans for the centre had been ‘a long time coming’.

‘The idea of the centre makes a lot of sense and it is in keeping with the growth of the charity. We have been able to help so many people get in the water through the service we offer and as demand increases it is only fitting that we have a permanent home for us and our athletes,’ he said.

‘We currently store all of our equipment away from the beach and our members have to get changed in Le Braye car park. The centre would prevent us having to lug equipment back and forth and it would provide a comfortable space for our athletes to shower and change.’

Mr Booth added: ‘We are trying to do all the right things and we hope the idea and design will fit in with the surrounding environment.’

The charity has applied for money from the second tranche of the government’s Fiscal Stimulus Fund in the hope of securing a grant to help create the centre.

Mr Booth said the organisation was still waiting to hear whether their application had been successful.

He added that the project could cost up to £400,000 and that the charity had been busy with its own fundraising initiatives to support the plans.

‘We are currently selling tickets for our ocean raffle, which has some amazing prizes including a package for two to the wave pool in Bristol,’ he said.

Raffle tickets cost £20 and more information about where you can buy them is available on the group’s Facebook page: Healing Waves – Ocean Therapy.

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