Cornwall Works
Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares - Surf Action

Surf Action is a community interest company and non-profit organisation whose core purpose is to support combat veterans, especially amputees and veterans who experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through surfing and associated support.  It has proved to be a powerful tool to change peoples self perception and self belief, helping them to discover a new and more positive direction in life.  Surf Action was set up by Rick Emerson, himself a combat veteran who suffered from PTSD, with some pilot funding from the Cornwall Works pooled funds.

The additional ESF Convergence investment through Cornwall Works 50+ enabled Surf Action to test their delivery model with people aged 50+ who were lacking motivation and confidence and who were unsure about their future direction.  This is achieved through participating in peer group surfing activity that is both physically and mentally challenging and often perceived as a young persons activity.

Evidence from the individual case study materials shows that Surf Action is making a real difference to people’s lives, in terms of improved motivation and confidence to move towards getting back into work.  One way this is put into action is by holding weekly clinics at Gwithian Towans.  Here attendees aged 50+ can go to the beach with the team and find out what an exhilarating, positive and social experience there is to be had.  The clinics are held every Friday, meeting at the Sunset Surf Cafe at noon.  If you are interested in attending, call Russ or Rich on 01736-811920 or email

Since the initial investment through Cornwall Works Surf Action has been successful with a Lottery Funded People’s millions bid of £50,000 to develop the activity, as well as being nominated for the ‘Best Healthy Project’.  This is a reflection of how this innovative activity is inspiring people to engage.  The project has also attracted interest from a transnational partner and the team are due to undertake a dissemination visit in September 2011 to the Finistere region.

Click here to visit the Surf Action website.