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Young people supported by our Children and Young Adults Service have very complex physical and health needs, and something that many of us would take for granted, just like surfing, is an unbelievable experience for them.

Fiona Boyd’s daughter, Donna aged 24, comes to St Oswald’s Hospice for short breaks. Talking about the day, Fiona said:

“Donna has a progressive brain disease and very complex medical needs, including severe epilepsy, so surfing is not something that I ever thought could be possible for her. But with her nurse and physio from St Oswald’s Hospice by her side, and the Surfing England team, it certainly was possible and the best day ever for Donna.

“Donna may have a palliative care diagnosis and be in advance stages of the disease but the Hospice has taught me it’s about living each day to the fullest and making as many memories as we possibly can when she is well enough. Adaptive surfing certainly helped Donna do that last week.”

Lauren Archibald, Activities Coordinator, said:

“A few weeks ago just going to the beach was massive for our children and young adults, never mind being able to go in the sea! The experience was above and beyond all expectations and helps us to fulfil our ambitions for the people we care for to be able to participate in everything. There were so many smiles and tears, it really is what we’re here for, to create unforgettable memories for families.”