Make a splash with your donation!

There’s nothing children enjoy more than having fun in the water with their friends.
But for children with a brain condition this is often impossible.

With your donation our Innovation Centre can design and build clever creations like the adapted paddle board so more children like Rhys can experience the thrill of the ocean and have adventures of their own.

Together we can spread the smiles – and the splashes – this summer.

Rhys Conquers the Waves with our Innovative Paddle Board

Our Innovation Centre (CIC) team were recently challenged to adapt a standard paddle board so Rhys could safely enjoy paddle boarding with his friends.

The team have previously adapted a surf board to allow children with disabilities to experience the joy of surfing safely so there was no way they were going to turn down the challenge!

Rhys has low muscle tone so designing something that would allow Rhys to sit comfortably and most importantly, safely, was extremely important.

After some clever engineering, the CIC team designed a wedge seat that mounts on top of a standard paddle board and allows Rhys to sit comfortably and unaided. Floats attached to either side of the board give an extra level of safety, ensuring that the paddle board is less likely to capsize.

His mum, Adele, said:

"What I liked about the paddle board is that there is low risk of Rhys falling off it and he can wear his hearing aids and glasses so he’s having a better experience in the water, he’s able to see the wildlife and experiencing being out and about is good for his health and wellbeing.

Being able to go out on the board helps Rhys keep fit; it keeps his strength and maintains his physical and mental wellbeing. It has a number of benefits to it as well as him being able to do ordinary things with friends, which keeps it social.

I have always pushed Rhys a little bit, as part of his condition means that he is likely to be deafblind when he’s older and as his condition progresses he will be more nervous as things change. Being able to go out onto the sea and feel comfortable with it now, while his sight and hearing is fairly good, will mean that in the future it’ll be a familiar space for him and he’ll have the opportunity to stay active to help his physical and mental health."

Of course, no design process would be complete without taking the finished product out for a test run!

As you can probably tell from the video below, the trial was a huge success and Rhys had the time of his life in the water! Here's what Rhys said:

"I really enjoyed paddle boarding. We saw jellyfish! We saw crabs! I enjoyed the paddling, it keeps me fit. I feel safe and comfortable on the board. I’d like to go paddle boarding again and I’d like to take my friends."


Help us innovate to support disabled children

Your donations enable our Innovation Centre to build bespoke products that allow children with disabilities to participate in everyday activities.

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