A young man from South Wales with complex needs fulfilled a lifelong goal of surfing this month thanks to Walsingham Support.
Dan Vaughan, 23, is only able to communicate through eye contact, movement and the occasional vocalisation due to his severe disabilities and requires constant sensory stimulation.
Staff from Walsingham Support worked with Dan’s parents to develop a person centred plan that would challenge him, push his boundaries and satisfy his sensory needs.
These goals included brushing his teeth with support, going on holiday without his parents and going surfing.
Walsingham Support worked with SurfabilityUK, a Swansea based organisation that provides surfing experiences for people with disabilities, to enable Dan to achieve his dream of surfing, something originally thought unattainable.
All foreseeable challenges including what equipment was required and how Dan would be supported were considered. SurfabilityUK were able to provide a surf board, unique to the UK, which accommodated Dan’s disabilities.
Ben Clifford, Director at SurfabilityUK CIC, said: “Dan has very complex needs, but our training and adapted equipment allowed us to feel confident in getting him in the water. Dan clearly had a great time and we were stoked to have helped him experience surfing.”
Staff who support Dan said he thoroughly enjoyed being in the water. He has since bought some surf mitts and wants to get his own wetsuit.
Nicola Jones, Locality Manager for Walsingham Support, added: “Walsingham Support works to increase the quality of life and happiness of every person it supports. The smile on Dan’s face spoke a thousand words – it was a massive achievement for him. This was truly an unforgettable moment for Dan and all involved.”