It’s been an amazing summer for Yvette Curtis and her Wave Wahines based here at Surf South West. Yvette and our instructors, led by Karma Worthington, have been holding packed surf sessions for all age groups throughout the busy summer season.

Wave Wahines and North Devon Against Domestic Abuse.

Wave Wahine’s CIC has also been working with the charity, North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA). The charity has seen increased numbers of women coming into the refuge following the lockdowns.  These surf sessions have, quite literally, changed the lives of many.

Most of the refuge’s women are escaping extremely abusive and life threatening environments.  The threat to their lives has been a very real one.

Fulfilling one of her greatest dreams, Yvette began working with NDADA in July.  She managed to secure funding for a sequence of introductory ‘Blue Space Therapy’(ocean space) surf sessions and the project was born. The service now relies on continued sponsorship and fundraising in order to keep it going.

Results of Surf Therapy Sessions 

The results of the Wave Wahines Blue Space Therapy has been truly amazing. All the women reported significant therapeutic improvements in their mental, emotional or physical wellbeing. BBC Radio North Devon were so bowled over by the women’s stories, that they included several news features throughout their Breakfast Show in July.

Wave Wahines In The Media

BBC Spotlight was also quick to respond and we were delighted to welcome BBC reporter, Anna Varle with her film crew, to the school.

First to the microphone was NDADA’s Sue Wallis. Sue described the experiences of some of the women, and the many challenges that they now face as they embark on new lives in North Devon.


Intrepid Anna then took to the waves to interview Yvette about her passion for Wave Wahines, and how the NDADA surf therapy project was born.

Anna then spoke to  Project Researcher, Siona Mcclenaghen about her insight into Blue Space Therapy. Siona is currently studying a PhD In Social Work and has been a driving force throughout.

We’d also like to say a particular thanks to Siona for her bravery and raw honesty in telling her own date rape story on camera.  It was a courageous and inspiring interview highlighting her recovery from the trauma of the rape. Siona is now highly focussed on turning the negative experience into a highly positive one. She does this by supporting others through projects such as the Waves Wahines Blue Space Therapy surf sessions.

As Siona says, “In this way, I feel has if I have won.”

siona on a surf board

John and Will Sponsor The Wave Wahines NDADA Sessions.

Realising the importance of these sessions, Surf South West’s Co Owner, John Ellis decided that SSW would sponsor the NDADA sessions for a further six weeks.  Other local companies also contributed sponsorship for which we are hugely grateful.  However, there is still much to be done so please, if you d like to help, here is Yvette’s Just Giving page. Any donations you feel you can offer will enable her to continue these valuable NDADA surf sessions.

One Last Thing

Yvette and all her Wave Wahines have always been keen to express their gratitude to Surf South West bosses, John and Will, for their continued support.  So, without further ado they’ve asked us to deliver this message publicly.

We think you more than deserve it gentlemen - don’t blush!

Signed, Your Surf South West Team. 

Wave Wahines Thank You Video

BBC Spotlight Feature

Here’s the interview that was aired on BBC Spotlight News in July. Prepare to be inspired.

(Embed Youtube Video