Insights from

City to Sea

Project evaluations

The full evaluation and summary from a surf therapy project that set out to transform the mental health and wellbeing of young people in inner-city London.

City to Sea was a surf-therapy project which targeted young Londoners whose complex physical and mental health needs made them vulnerable to isolation. The social prescribing project was delivered by Laureus Sport for Good and The Wave Project over a three-year period between 2018-2021. Participants were referred to City to Sea by children and adolescent’s mental health services (CAMHS).

There are two reports on City to Sea: the final evaluation full report  by Dr. Hannah Devine-Wright, Placewise and Cath Godfrey, Cath Godfrey Evaluations and a summary of the evaluation report by Rob Kenyon, Grant and Policy Manager, Spirit of 2012.




  • At the end of the project, of the 726 young people who took part in the six-week course just under 30% were from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and approximately 40% were disabled.
  • Average wellbeing improved by approximately 13%
  • 77% of respondents agreed that they ‘feel better’ and 81% ‘had fun’ after attending sessions.
  • There were also improvements to self-esteem, with a higher proportion of participants reporting feeling good about themselves.
  • 87% of participants saying they’d made new friends as a result of the project.
  • 45% of parents felt their child demonstrated a more positive attitude, and 48% felt their child demonstrated better communication skills.

I feel that all my worries disappear when I’m on my bodyboard. It is the place I feel most relaxed.

City to Sea participant

View the project