Friday, 12 August 2011

Dear all, just wanted to let everyone know that this blog will no longer be updated from here for a while and all news will be updated through our website blog. so if you do log onto to this please visit our new site. cheers Russ

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

We Won the vote.

Just a week after the team successfully completed Operation Cornish Wave 2 with the guys from Hasler Company, we have won the National Lottery Awards Semi Finals. Thanks to everyone who voted for us and thanks to everyone who continues to support us. This means we are going to the Finals and I think this will be on National TV. We would like to really thank Anthony Lambert for bring the guys back down to Polzeath for another session in the waves. Best wishes to Anthony who is one of the amazing surgeons working on the injured in Camp Bastian. He is now back in Afghanistan and already has emailed to sadly say the injuries just keep coming.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Semi Finals Please vote again.

Surf Action is going head-to-head with nine other National Lottery-funded projects in the semi-finals of the National Lottery Awards 2011.

We are one of only 10 projects to make it through in the Best Health Project category in the annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects.

We are asking Residents across Cornwall to please vote for Surf Action to win £2,000 as well as national recognition at a star-studded event last this year.

Awarded almost £50,000 in November through the Big Lottery Fund the extra cash could be used to buy more gear to get kore vets into the sea and back to community life.

Voting for the semi-finals begins on Tuesday, May 31, and ends at midday on Monday, June 20. To vote for Surf Action call 0844 836 9705 or log on to

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Come Surfing

Happy Days last Friday. Lots of smiles, everyone is progressing so much and the hooting was getting louder. Roll on this Friday 12.30pm at Sunset Surf Hayle.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Go Craig

Craig Foster has been coming to our beach clinics for a few weeks now. After first coming down for one of our walks he is now a regular and this week got in the surf for the first time. Classic. Smiles on Faces. Thanks to Cornwall Community Foundation for a grant that has allowed us to get in the water and record the smiles and happiness that each person gets from simply riding a wave. We have a great bunch of veterans who support us and this means the world. Many thanks. Our next Lottery funded Surf Camp will be on the Saturday 7th May so any veterans or family members out there please contact us and come along. tel: 01736 811920 and ask for Russ or Rich

Monday, 11 April 2011

Sunny Days and Surf

Info from taken from this weeks press release:

On a beautiful sunny day last weekend, with perfect small waves rolling into Gwithian Beach, combat veterans and family members all came and surfed alongside Surf Action.

The St Buryan based group that provide surf and beach clinics every Friday at Gwithian Beach for local veterans and people over 50 have been looking forward to the first Surf Camp of the season. In addition to the weekly clinics, this summer will see six surf camps specifically funded by the Big Lottery, which Surf Action won last year for South West veterans and members of the blue light services who may be suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

These camps are about having fun and letting go, but the core purpose is to focus on the well-being and support of combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their families. Director Rich Emerson states “We are a group actively engaging veterans in physical activities that are truly building self-esteem and confidence. As a result of winning the lottery fund, we now have some new surfboards designed for those with reduced mobility and new warm wetsuits for our particpants. We are so lucky to have C-Skins providing our wetsuits, we’re a professional organisation and now, thanks to C-Skins, look the part too. We would like to thank Sunset Surf Café who continually show support and provided the lunches for the event, but also raised £90 through a Grand National sweep- stake.”

Rich Emerson was delighted when talking about one veteran, Mike Lehardy, who took to the water for the second time, showed that as an older person, being focusing on an activity can keep you positive and physically active. “Mike was bouncing around the beach like a teenager and had not forgotten the skills he learnt from the last time he surfed, this is why we do this, he’s an inspiration to others and will now be part of each surf camp as a volunteer.”

One local veteran, Simon Green enjoyed the day from another perspective, having surf previously on a number of occasion’s, he proudly watched his son Chris surf the waves. Simon, a professional photographer, joined Russ Pierre on the beach to begin their film and photography project. Simon stated, “This project will focus on how the veterans can move forward and look at a positive future, it will be educational and raise awareness.”

Surf Action recently received a much needed grant from the Cornwall Community Foundation to buy some photographic equipment that will allow them to record the memories of these days, develop their media presence, but also to introduce family workshops where photography and film will be part of the ongoing beach project of Surf Action.

Essentially they are not a surf school, but a group of surfers with a variety of skills who recognise the benefits of surfing. “What we believe we have achieved (although not medically), is that surfing boosts moral, confidence, self esteem and can be complimentary therapy. By simply using surfing we have brought a smile to many faces and shown them that anything is possible.” Says Rich Emerson.

Surf Action would also like to say a big thank you to Cornwall Works and Cornwall Works 50+ Cares for their continued support and belief in what they do, ASP-Industries for providing all weather Jackets and all our family and friends.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Team Building at the beach

Friday afternoons are often there to be enjoyed, a time to get excited about the weekend and a time to relax a little from the stresses of work, possibly a couple of beers with your friends and colleagues. Friday afternoons at Surf Action can be about getting their veterans they work with through the weekend with a little more self-belief and positive thinking.

Those who have been following Surf Actions’ Surf and Beach Clinics over the past weeks will know that the sessions are partly funded by Cornwall Works 50+ and Cornwall Works 50+ Cares, which is funded by the European Social Fund. This week the St Buryan based Community Interest Company invited Tim Cocks from the Devon and Cornwall Fire Brigade to introduce the group to some team building and problem solving activities. Russ Pierre said “Tim leads Project Phoenix and uses these activities to work with young offenders and disadvantaged youngsters. Soon to be working in partnership with Surf Action, Tim has many years of experience building confidence and identifying inner strengths needed to move forward in society and its going to be great working with him”.

Each week Surf Action are attracting new participants and this week saw Sue Robinson from The Soldiers Charity (ABF) and her colleague Jeanette join in the fun designed to develop leadership, trust, communication and listening skills. Teaming up with two veterans Simon Green and Craig Foster they all took it in their stride to use their initiative to solve the problems set with just a piece of rope, some old tyres, a few pieces of wood and the beach. Tim Cocks enthusiastically stated “Its amazing that such simple resources can have such a positive affect on people”.

Last week Craig joined the group accompanied by his health worker from Pentreath Ltd. He enjoyed the coastal walk so much he said “it actually got him through the weekend, it got me out of the house”, the group has literally given him a way to move forward. A former soldier, Craig was also a joiner and retained firefighter until a tragic incident led to the darkest past four years suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

This week Craig returned to the beach; he went out last week and bought a motorbike to ensure he did not miss the Friday session. Through meeting Tim there is a possibility that Craig will be now be working to gain a coaching qualification and then take these same activities to other community groups. Meeting Sue from The Soldiers Charity may open up funding for Craig that he was not aware of, and meeting Surf Action has given Craig future aspirations.

Surf Action is moving forward and the veterans and 50+ participants are moving forward with them. “Our goal is smiles on faces, once we have a smile we can move forward” said Russ Pierre. The people we work with are amazing, and today we saw real evidence that our beach sessions are working.

Thank you to everyone who supports us, Cornwall Works, The Lottery Fund, Grass Roots (photography equipment) c-skins wetsuits, and a big thanks to Doug and Al at Sunset Surf Cafe at Gwithian.

If you are a veteran or 50+ and possibly out of work and interested in finding out more visit or please contact Russ or Rich on 01736 811920 or email: or

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Come and Join Us.

Each Friday since mid February Surf Action have introduced Surf and Beach Clinics which have been successful in bringing veterans and those over 50 to the beach. Using the open environment to clear their minds and change their perspective of what their future can hold in terms of feeling positive, confident and building self-esteem the clinics are attracting more participants each week. The clinic this week took our veterans from Sunset Surf Cafe at Gwithian Towans over to Godrevy to see the seals resting during their winter lay up. Nigel from the Wildlife Trust has joined the group to provide real added value to the walks, providing some great geological interpretation and educational team building but also he has met fellow surfers who enjoy the great outdoors.

Last week we also invited Catherine Powell from the London Meditation Project who works specifically with sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Meditation can help to deal with ongoing conditions of anger, anxiety, panic attacks, sleeplessness and nightmares and these can be symptoms suffered by combat veterans.

The session was used to introduce a few of our vets and 50+ to a method of relaxation that uses breathing techniques and self awareness. This ‘mindfullness’ teaches us to be aware of our body’s emotions and can lead to an awareness that can also help with negative emotions such as guilt, deep sadness and fear. We don’t believe surfing, walking or meditation are a ‘quick fix’ but given time can all help make us make better decisions about self care in life, offer a sense of belonging in society and in cases peace of mind.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Friday, 18 February 2011

Come for a walk

Our second surf and beach clinic at Gwithian beach happened today. Its great to see new faces each week and it boosts our confidence even more when great people like Trevor and Daphne come back each week. By building friendships and a positive environment, everyone will be amongst friends when the water warms up and we get in the surf.
Thanks to everyone for their support. We would also like to announce we will be supported by C-Skins wetsuits this year which is great news. This means all who come will be toasty and warm in brand new suits. Happy days.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Surf and Beach Clinic

Last Friday saw the first Surf and Beach clinic held by Surf Action at Gwithian Towans. By using the beach environment Surf action are promoting and protecting the physical and mental health and welfare of local combat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Their project, partly funded by Cornwall Works also extend their activities to Cornish residents over the age of 50 who may be out of work or suffering from mental health problems and looking for a way back to work by feeling more confident. As was the case last Friday the weather and waves were not great for surfing, so Surf Action Directors Rich Emerson and Russ Pierre took six veterans for a good walk along the beach.

Rich Emerson stated “It was an excellent way to blow away the cobwebs, talk to friends, feel positive about the future and change their perspective of how the beach can be used. “

The beach clinic programme is aimed at offering veterans, their families and 50+ the opportunity to come to the beach and find out what an exhilarating, positive and social experience the beach environment can be.

Russ Pierre said “When the waves are good we’ll always go surfing, if not, we shall be walking, exploring the beach environment and taking part in gentle activities such as problem solving, foraging, beach cleaning, ideal activities for making new friends”.

Surf Action believes their project boosts moral, confidence; self esteem and can be positive and complimentary therapy to ongoing rehabilitation. From their work with the veterans and amputees returning from Afghanistan the act of simply taking them surfing has brought a smile to many a face and shown them that anything is possible. By using surfing and the surrounding environment to create a social network for the veterans and importantly their families, Surf Action are creating a community that is more than just riding waves with friends, but a bond, and a means to help others.

These clinics will be held each Friday at Gwithian Towans, meeting at 12pm at Sunset Surf Café. Those interested in finding out more can contact Russ or Rich on 01736 811920 or email